A local couple is preparing to build a commercial and residential home of more than 13,500 square feet in downtown Fowlerville.
The Michigan Strategic Fund Board on Tuesday approved a $ 1.45 million loan under the Michigan Economic Development Corporation program to help them fund a $ 3.7 million construction project.
Jennifer Cook and her husband Dan, owners of the fitness studio TRV | FIT – have been working for several years to develop The Ville on the site of a former forest site on Grand River Avenue and Grand Street.
The cooks, who live in Dexter and are originally from Pinkney, sought to expand the gym located in the villages of Pinkney and Dexter.
They said the idea has grown into a larger plan to bring more affordable rental housing and modern commercial space in the center of the village.
Dan Cook said the project would not have been financially feasible without a performance-based loan issued to their developer, Cooke Capital LLC.
They were also able to raise $ 1,465,000 in bank financing and more than $ 800,000 in private equity.
Cook has partnered with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to provide “funding gaps” for the project.
“Without this program, something like this could not move forward in a place like Fowlerville,” Dan said, adding that the cost of construction could be disproportionately high in a village where rents have lower rates than in other communities.
The couple hopes to earn a start this spring and complete the building next year.
Something new for the village
The Ville will have eight apartments, including seven two-bedroom apartments upstairs and a one-bedroom apartment with ADA access on the ground floor. The project will cover more than 6,600 square feet of living space, according to a MEDC release.
Dan Cook said he expects the apartments to be more affordable than other rentals across Livingston County.
It is expected that the apartments will be rented from 844 to 1378 dollars a month, according to MEDC.
“There’s a lot of demand for them,” Dan said. “I think we’ll rent this thing out before it’s done. It’ll be better than the average apartment because it’s newer, but it’ll be more affordable.”
Ville will also have up to three commercial premises on the ground floor, including the new TRV | FIT location.
According to the MEDC release, the gym will take up about 4,000 square feet, which will also have more than 1,200 square feet of additional commercial space that can be leased to one or two more businesses.
“We’re currently working from a smaller space in Fowlerville, and our community is growing,” she said. “We knew we had to move somewhere, but we didn’t have many options in Fowlerville. Then Dan said, ‘Why don’t we build something?'”
Jennifer said the new gym would be about twice her current location in Fowlerville. This will provide enough space for two gyms, boxing equipment, more opportunities for individual workouts and a larger children’s area.
She said she is also going to move her Pinkney gym to an empty window on Main Street, 140 in Pinkney, which she purchased.
Dan Cook said the rest of the commercial space at The Ville in Fowlerville could be filled by one or two other companies looking to rent.
“Gyms are an anchor business,” he said. “Hopefully it will be something that will complement the gym, but we’re not going to be that picky. Anything that fits well into the city center will be great.”
To build the building, the Cookes needed funding for the absence, in part because they expect the finished building to be valued lower than the cost of its construction.
“The construction will cost $ 3.7 million, but the estimated cost if it is built will be about $ 2 million, so MEDC has supported these projects,” Dan said. “We want to support the community, but you couldn’t invest $ 3.7 million in $ 2 million in property. That would be impossible. “
Village authorities have also passed a 10-year law on the rehabilitation of commercial tax exemptions worth more than $ 450,000.
Michelle Wildman, senior vice president of community development at MEDC, said The Ville is eligible for the loan program because it will increase the accessibility of housing for the rural workforce and promote accessibility to walking downtown.
“Affordable housing for the workforce is a critical part of the puzzle as we try to grow business and retain talent,” she said. “The need for these units at a price for this workforce is critical to us.”
She said affordable housing is not always sustainable for developers because of rental rates in the area.
“This is really a goal to enable those important investments that support the strategy of local economic development, which would not be the case otherwise,” she said. “It provides soft, flexible capital that makes these lower rental rates financially possible.”
Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Timor at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @jennifer_timar.