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Officials break ground on new $12 Million Affordable Housing Complex in GR's Belknap Neighborhood

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Daniel Boothe
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Daniel Boothe

Partnerships include Grand Valley State University, that is leasing the land at a low cost

As part of a city-wide effort to construct more affordable housing, officials in Grand Rapids’ Belknap neighborhood. Thursday broke ground on new, $12 million apartment complex.

Located in the heart of the Belknap Lookout neighborhood, and just a stone’s throw away from the medical mile and Grand Valley State University’s health campus, the new 50 unit complex it is considered by city officials to be an important step in the revitalization of the Belknap neighborhood, and a gift from GVSU, who owns the land.

The project is the brainchild of former University President Thomas Haas.

Grand Rapids Commissioner Joe Jones, who has long championed for more affordable housing in the city, thanked Haas, who retired in 2019.

“This development is a promise that came from T-Hass. Today is the fulfillment of that promise to the neighbors of Belknap Lookout,” Jones said. “It is the fulfillment of his dream, a dream that included being the very best neighbor GVSU could be.”

Dr. Philomena Mantella, GVSU’s current President, also used her time at the groundbreaking to acknowledge her predecessor.

“You stand on the shoulders of those who came before you,” Mantella said. “So Tom, thank you for allowing me to stand on your shoulders when you did the work.”

In 2015, The Grand Rapids City Commission adopted the Great Housing Strategies plan to address the affordable housing crisis, and say the new apartment complex is a part of that effort.

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