Planned $18M Baker Lofts could create 87 affordable apartments near Downtown Market

Dodging earthmovers, cranes and construction vehicles of all kinds is not an easy task these days at the corner of Logan and Ionia streets on Grand Rapids' southwest side. But that's what dozens of folks did for Wednesday's ceremonial groundbreaking for Baker Lofts, a proposed residential project that will invest $18 million in the renovation of the former Century Furniture/Baker Furniture warehouse at 40 Logan St. SW.

Construction of 87 affordable-rate apartments and 15,000 square feet of retail will begin in 2013, just kitty corner from the Logan/Ionia intersection where the Downtown Market is rising slowly on new brick walls. Elimination of "some environmental issues" is underway now, says Mike Jacobson of LC Companies, developer of the site.

Baker Lofts stretches new development in the city to south of Wealthy St. SW, an area that has been under-used with many buildings vacant and decaying for years.

"This was built by Century Furniture at the turn of the century, then they left for North Carolina," said Jacobson at the groundbreaking ceremony. "Then Schoonbeck [Furniture] occupied it and they left, then Baker."

And now, Jacobson says, the building will bring vitality and housing to an area that will bustle with activity when the Downtown Market opens -- an area that hasn't offered Grand Rapids new living spaces in many decades.

The apartments will range from 650 square feet to 1,200 square feet and will lease for $450 to $550/mo. for one-bedroom units, and $550 to $750/mo. for two-bedroom units. The developers expect the project to be LEED certified.

Apartments should be move-in ready by July 2013, says Jacobson.

Construction manager: Rockford Construction.
Source: Mike Jacobson, LC Companies, LLC; Tyler Lecceadone, SeyferthPR
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Photography: Jeff Hill, Publisher, Rapid Growth Media
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