A Capital Area Housing Partnership project to turn the historic Bailey Community Center into a daycare and senior living center was approved by the East Lansing City Council last week.
Bailey is a community staple that provides child care, a gym and a dance studio, among other things. The building will officially shut down this upcoming September due to financial reasons.
Capital Area Housing Partnership treasurer Jacob Horner said the project to renovate Bailey will cost approximately $8.6 million.
“This project will be quite costly because we’re taking a building that’s a school and turning it into an apartment building with all these different uses,” he said.
Horner said development will be financed mostly through a variety of tax credits, including the housing tax credit equity. Grants, soft loans and developer equity will also be utilized.
The different uses of the building will include the gym and daycare, which will be located on the first floor. Horner said the use of the remaining spaces has yet to be determined.
“Part of our proposal is to work with the community to identify uses for that space and find what the community really wants to have there,” he said. “(The spaces will) be available for whatever the community wants to see as long as the project can support it financially.”
The second floor of the building will consist primarily of the two-story gym and residential units, along with a lounge and computer room.
The third floor will be entirely residential space.
Horner said future tenants can expect rent to be priced at $570 a month for a one bedroom apartment and $660 a month for a two bedroom apartment.
The apartments will be restricted to seniors who are at least 55 years old and who make 60% or below of the area median income for their household size.
Horner said if everything gets approved, CAHP will submit applications to the MSHDA for the allocation of state tax credits by October 1.
A few months later, award of tax credits by the state will be announced.
Assuming the project receives the funds, construction will begin on April 1, 2016 and is expected to last until October 1, 2017.
Horner assured the council that historically significant items, both inside and outside the building, will remain untouched during the construction process.
Councilmember Kathleen Boyle said she fully supports the project.
“I see some real challenges here but I think everybody on this council is willing to do what we can to meet those challenges and try and get things accomplished well and by the dates required,” she said.
Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris echoed Boyle’s sentiments. She said she was concerned about the future use of the Bailey building, but this plan seems to meet everyone’s needs.
Councilmember Susan Woods said she believes this is the best project for the Bailey building.
“(Capital Area Housing Partnership) has been able to, as everyone’s said, integrate all the needs that we have,” she said. “(They’ve) been listening to everybody and that doesn’t usually happen with the commercial developers.”
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