Economic Development Team Meeting, 2024-01-09

At the Economic Development Team Meeting the topic of permit-ready plans for infill development was discussed/presented. This also included the conversation of potential financial assistance from the city and/or county for small and new developers. The discussion on this topic begins at ~7 (seven) minutes.

The agenda is 👉here👈.

From the agenda:

In collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Michigan Municipal League (MML), and Economic Development Corporation (EDC), staff in the Economic Development and Planning Departments have been working to advance “permit-ready” plan and construction documents for single family, duplex, and quadraplex residential developments that are (a) architecturally contextual to Grand Rapids’ “Traditional Neighborhood” and (b) sized appropriately for vacant lots in the City.

In total there will be eight (8) complete plan sets developed, three (3) single family, three (3) duplex, and two (2) quadraplex. The plan sets are intended to be sized appropriately for the majority of vacant lots in the City and will provide a variety of home sizes with varying costs. The intent for these plans is that they could be utilized by anyone seeking to undertake small-scale residential development in the City and would be particularly valuable to those that do not have access to the pre-development capital required for architectural plans and construction documents.  The plans will be reviewed by the building inspections department prior to being made available to the public, which will help expedite the timing for permit review, absent unique site constraints or modifications made to the plans by the developer.

The effort to develop duplex and quadraplex plans has been funded by the MEDC and MML partnership and funding was made available to the City because it is a Redevelopment Ready Certified community. The single-family home plans are being funded by the EDC as approved by the board at its meeting on December 6, 2023. Additionally, the EDC approved funding to provide plan alternatives for all eight (8) plan sets that would be used for all-electric homes with necessary infrastructure for solar panels, battery storage, and electric vehicle charging. Total investment in the “permit-ready” plans from all sources is estimated to be approximately $105,000.

Advancing these plans is a critical component of a multi-pronged approach to provide support and resources for emerging developers and will also contribute to increasing housing supply.  Additional components of the strategy include the zoning reform efforts being led by the Planning Department, implementation of the Brownfield Housing TIF program and prioritization of the Local Brownfield Revolving Fund for homeownership and emerging developers, and leveraging the properties owned by the State Land Bank Authority that are controlled by the City.

Several funding opportunities are being explored in the short term that could be additional leverage for incremental development, particularly on property controlled by the City that could support duplex or quadraplex development.  Given those opportunities, staff intends to reserve those properties and not evaluate applications for purchase until a determination on available funding is made.

No presentations or other documents were linked to from the agenda.