Construction is underway on a $38.5 million apartment complex going up in Holt called Willoughby Estates.
The complex is planned to be completely finished by March 2018. Some of the buildings however, which will include around 100 units, will open early in September of this year.
“It is important that housing options be available for everyone in the community,” said Director of Community Development, Tracy Miller. “This includes affordable housing, as well as higher end product. Having nice rental communities, like Willoughby Estates, is important because it can cater to MSU professionals and others that are looking for shorter term living arrangements.”
According to the 2015 Census the average Holt resident commutes 24.3 miles to work. Holt is a bedroom community, meaning that since it is a suburb of Lansing most people that live in Holt commute to work outside of their home town.
The community up until this point has not strayed far from their neighborhoods of stereotypical two-story houses that fit a four-person family.
“It is a great living option for residences ranging from their first home to downsizing for a retirement home,” said Project Manager for the Willoughby Estates, Chris Rudolph. “There are units including apartments, duplexes, townhomes and single family homes. All of the units are rentals and include condo style amenities from basic maintenance to the clubhouse and pool area, to high-speed internet access.”
This type of living facility is something new to the Holt community, and the hope is that it will invite new types of people in as well.
According to Rudolph, the apartments will range from one- to three-bedroom units, with rents starting at $850 a month. The cottages will rent for $1,500.
“There is nothing wrong in a bedroom community but for local planning purposes, commercial and business uses require less in terms of service than residential uses do,” said Michigan State University Urban and Regional Planning assistant professor Zeenat Kotval-Karamchandani. “For example, residential uses need schools, which are a big cost to the community. So planners try to get a good mix of residents into the community, so that higher property prices can lead to higher property taxes received.”
The space and resources needed to build this type of complex in Holt have never been available until now, and the developers are ceasing the opportunity.
“This area has been master planned for high density residential development for a long time,” said Miller. “This is because the necessary infrastructure needed to support this type of development is available in this area. The township will gain the redevelopment of a brownfield site, which will return the previously industrial and environmentally impacted property back to productive reuse.”
The Environmental Protection Agency defines a brownfield as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.”
“The site is a brownfield site with contamination from previous use as a paver manufacturing facility,” said Rudolph. “Delhi Township offers tax incentives for the remediation of the site, and then gains tax revenue from the development. Delhi gains tax revenue and a quality multi-family development of an otherwise under-utilized piece of property.”
The apartment complex will be located on the 22-acre property along Willoughby Road between Pine Tree Road and the railroad crossing east of Sycamore Trail.
The property has three man-made lakes, and the Lansing River Trail crosses through the front of it, which Rudolph expects to be appealing to prospective tenants.
“The younger crowd nowadays wants to live where the action is and have access to multiple destination types,” said Kotval-Karamchandani. “Work, shopping, entertainment, etc. Transit services and walkability to multiple destinations is a very desired of living for the younger crowd. Places where you can live, work and play.”