Historic Keeler Building, Michigan
The Historic Keeler Building – Photo courtesy Grand Rapids Public Museum Archives.

A redevelopment plan for the vacant Keeler building is getting a “thumbs up” from GR’s City Commission & the Downtown Development Authority!  With 2 years of planning under his belt, Jeffrey Dombrowski, head of W. Michigan Housing Alliance and of Keeler Flats LLC, has come up with a winning plan for this existing landmark building, which has been virtually unused for the past 20 years.

There are two big stories in one:  High tech use of energy saving plans to eliminate or greatly reduce energy costs and consumption AND low income rents with some apartments reserved for tenants with physical and developmental disabilities.  Parking will not be an issue due to the convenience of the city’s nearby bus stop and the proximity to workplaces and college campuses.  It’s a healthy walking environment!

Prior to the construction of 132-apartments, commercial space, a day care center, computer lab, vocational center, art studio and exercise facilities, Mr. Dombrowski will be working on obtaining financing through city and federal tax credits in addition to credits obtainable from the National Register of Historic Places and Brownfield credits for urban redevelopment projects.  The total cost of this project is a staggering $40.5 million.

Plans are to convert the existing spaces available into 72 1-bedroom apartments, 48 2-bedroom apartments and 12 3-bedroom apartments:  Of this total, 42-apartments will be assigned for handicapped tenants.  Monthly rents are expected to range from $641 to a high of $1,042 for the 12 largest units.