What you need to know about Hillcrest Apartments by the Manistee News Advocate

Here’s what you need to know about Hillcrest Apartments

By Erin Glynn, erin.glynn@pioneergroup.com

Published 5:50 pm EDT, Thursday, October 1, 2020

MANISTEE — Manistee is one step closer to a new apartment complex. Construction began Monday on Hillcrest Apartments, located at the site formerly occupied by Washington Elementary School on Ford Street, bordering Short Street and Third Avenue. The official groundbreaking ceremony for the property will be held on Oct. 14.

The project’s developers are the Hollander Development Corporation and Little River Real Estate Management, which is an investment portfolio of Little River Holdings, LLC. The complex will have 45 housing units and will be mixed-income. Households earning less than 30% and up to 120% of the area median income will be eligible. The median household income for Manistee County was $47,172 in 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“The apartments will be open to families, individuals; there’s no restrictions,” Joe Hollander, chairman of the Hollander Development Corporation said.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, the Hollander Development Corporation will present new renderings of the apartment complex with minor alterations to its original plan, such as a change to the color scheme.

Hollander originally planned to start construction in the late fall of 2019 and have some buildings ready for occupancy by this spring, but the project was delayed due to a backlog of construction jobs caused by the coronavirus.

According to a previous Manistee Council packet memo, in February 2019 when council adopted an ordinance to allow Manistee Hillcrest to construct apartments, part of the ordinance required the project be completed within two years from the time it went into effect.

The ordinance took effect on Feb. 15, 2019, and the completion was listed as needing to be done by Feb. 15, 2021. This summer, council granted an extension on the project.

The extension gives developers until Aug. 17, 2022 to finish the work

In June 2019, the project was awarded over $1 million in tax credits from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to support affordable housing.

Eugene Magnuson, chief executive officer of Little River Holdings — a parent economic development entity of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Nation — said in a statement to the News Advocate that the tribe’s involvement in the project was key to obtaining the highly competitive tax credits.

“Little River Holdings has been a partner since the beginning stages of this project and was vital to obtaining the tax credits through MSHDA,” Magnuson said in the statement. Magnuson added that the experience Little River Holdings is gaining through its partnership with Hollander is required in order to eventually win its own tax credits on projects in the future.

“Affordable housing is a critical need here in Manistee and for tribal members of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, and the 45 affordable rental units will meet a strong demand in this market,” Magnuson said in the statement.