Cadillac Lofts: A Collaborative Redevelopment Success

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

A highly-collaborative public-private partnership has spurred the redevelopment of a blighted property on an important block in downtown Cadillac.

Located on the south end of Mitchell Street between Cass and Chapin Streets, the 1.3 acre site was previously home to a long-shuttered grocery store, some additional vacant commercial uses, and a largely-empty parking lot. Now, with support from a broad range of partners, those empty buildings have been demolished to make way for Cadillac Lofts, a 4-story building featuring commercial space on the first floor and rental units above.

The first new-construction apartment building for Cadillac since 2005, and the first mixed-use development in downtown Cadillac in decades, Cadillac Lofts will feature twelve studios, twenty-four 1-bedroom units, and six 2-bedroom units. 85% of these apartments will be priced for households earning 80% of area median income or less. The first phase of the project is expected to be complete in summer 2020; a second building is planned for a later phase.

The development is led and owned by Michigan Community Capital (MCC), an independent non-profit and community development finance institution (CDFI) that invests in mixed-use and multi-family rental projects, with a focus on units that are affordable to households between 61% and 120% of the community’s average median income.

The $9 million construction costs, along with challenges in appraising and financing the project in a community without comparable developments, required substantial support, contributions, and leadership from MCC, the City of Cadillac, and state agencies. MCC provided equity in the project, while public partners provided or applied for a broad range of incentives, grants, and loans:

  • A Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to the City of Cadillac funded demolition and site preparation.

  • Brownfield grants and loans to the Cadillac Brownfield Authority from Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ/EGLE) addressed site contamination and other brownfield-eligible activities.

  • Tax incentives were requested from the City through both the Commercial Redevelopment Act, which provides a 12-year, 50% reduction on the millage rate on the commercial portion of the project; and use of a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone (NEZ), which reduces the millage for the residential portion of the property for 15 years.

  • ·A Community Revitalization Program (CRP) grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) of $1.5 million offset construction expenses.

The project, which will provide much-needed housing for the community’s workforce, while transforming Cadillac’s downtown, represents the impact of City leadership and collaborative relationships between public partners and developers.

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