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New affordable housing development planned for Jackson

Plans also call for Head Start classrooms on the first floor of the building for local children.
Jackson City Council voted in favor of an ordinance intended to aid in the development of the...
Jackson City Council voted in favor of an ordinance intended to aid in the development of the The Blackstone Apartments, a low-to-moderate income apartment development planned on N. Blackstone Street.(City of Jackson)
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 8:59 AM EDT
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - A new affordable apartment complex is one step closer to reality in Downtown Jackson. At Tuesday’s meeting, the Jackson City Council voted in favor of an ordinance intended to aid in the development of The Blackstone Apartments, a low-to-moderate income apartment development planned on N. Blackstone Street.

The proposed four-story development will feature 45 apartments, consisting of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units. The building will also include space for some retail opportunities on the first floor. It will be built on a vacant lot owned by the City on N. Blackstone Street between W. Pearl Street and W. Louis Glick Highway. Currently, the lot is green space and ready for redevelopment.

The City says the apartments will be affordable for residents with low-to-moderate income. The ordinance approved by the City Council, also known as a PILOT Program, significantly reduces the tax liability on the developer, in exchange for a small part of the rents generated from the property.

Support from the City has been effective in making affordable housing built within Jackson and allows developers to pursue further government funding for construction. City Manager Jonathan Greene welcomes this collaboration with the prospective developer, MVAH Partners. While plans are still being made for The Blackstone’s design, it will look similar to the recently built Francis Senior Lofts in Downtown Jackson, which was also a project of MVAH.

“As we reshape the skyline of Jackson with new apartment developments, it’s important that we make downtown living affordable for people of all income levels and backgrounds,” Greene said. “More people living downtown means further business opportunities and services the entire community can take advantage of.”

Pete Schwiegeraht, Senior Vice President of Development for MVAH, spoke at last night’s meeting about the project.

“This pilot helps fill gaps in this $13 million endeavor, but also will also help us with scoring at the State level that will assist in the development,” Schwiegeraht said. “Plans also call for locating Head Start classrooms on the first floor of the building for local children.”

Final approval of the ordinance and sale of the property will be considered at the next City Council meeting on Sept. 28.

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