Former Project Rehab buildings part of $10m-$15m plan to bring more apartments/condos to East Hills

The plans are not anywhere near set in concrete, but the preliminary vision for four properties on the southeast and southwest corners of Eastern Avenue SE and Cherry Street SE could be the pieces of a possible $10 million to $15 million residential project.

Cherry Street Capital has options on the properties. The company's partners, Chad Barton and Jim Peterson, have been working with the East Hills Council of Neighbors (EHCN) and the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission to develop a workable plan for converting the properties to apartments and/or condominiums with commercial spaces.

The properties -- a former Project Rehab building and parking area at 200 Eastern, a house at 758 Cherry and two adjacent land parcels at 215 and 217 Eastern -- form an important gateway transition area between Cherry Street's business district to the east and its residential neighborhood to the west, north, and south.

The properties fall within two different historic districts: Cherry Hill Historic District and Fairmount Square Historic District.

"How we move forward will be determined in large part about how the neighborhood feels about things," says Peterson. "We're exploring the mass, density and developing a project that works for the neighborhood."

Cherry Street Capital envisions a plan that could possibly convert the house into an office or boutique retail space. Undeveloped land surrounding the house could be the right location for market rate apartments in a building designed to fit the surrounding neighborhood.

The brick and concrete building at 200 Eastern was built as a dormitory, which makes it suited for a conversion to apartments or condominiums, and that could include a building addition.

"We will continue to explore options that work for us as a developer, while continuing to get feedback from the EHCN, working with the East Hills business association, and working with the HPC," says Barton. "The truly challenging part of infill projects is because there is so much subjectiveness and so much passion. Change is hard and we're trying to be intelligent about it."

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Cherry Street Capital
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