Dwelling Place to transform old Holland middle school into $5.9M affordable housing community

Deborah Johnson Wood

Grand Rapids-based Dwelling Place broke ground this week in downtown Holland to renovate the abandoned E.E. Fell Junior High School into a hip, urban housing community for people aged 55 and up. The community, Midtown Village, is the last piece of the revitalization of an entire city block by Jubilee Ministries into a mixed-use complex that includes Midtown Center, a hub of businesses and nonprofits.

The residential component, 372 S. River St., breathes life into the historic former school with the construction of 30 affordable apartments, a second-story roof deck and a new landscaped walkway that creates a shortcut through the property between 15th and 16th streets.

"It's a senior project, but we're looking at the younger seniors, at people who want to live downtown and don't want to have to have a car," says Jarrett DeWyse, Dwelling Place director of housing development. "This is the largest piece of land to be developed in Holland recently. Jubilee bought the block from Holland Public Schools with the intent of doing a development that correlated with the city of Holland's Center of Centers study which called for green space, housing and commercial development."

The apartments include three one-bedroom and 27 two-bedroom living spaces with rent that ranges from $580 to $605 a month.

The project includes Hooker DeJong Architects & Engineers and GDK Construction Company, with financing through The Bank of Holland and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Construction should wrap up in the fall of 2011.

Source: Jarrett DeWyse, Dwelling Place

Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected] Development News tips can be sent to [email protected]