A Community Development Block Grant will go toward creating 12 new, affordable rental housing units in Ishpeming
ISHPEMING, MI – August 21, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Residents in search of walkable and affordable downtown living in Ishpeming will find new options on the upper floors of the former Mather Inn. Twelve affordable rental units will be created using a Community Development Block Grant awarded to Marquette County by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
“Transforming historical landmarks like the Mather Inn into affordable housing is a creative way to continue our state’s reinvention and help provide opportunities for Michiganders,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “This is another great example of the exciting developments taking place in the U.P. and across the Comeback State.”
The $566,400 grant will be put to use rehabilitating 15,000 square feet of space on the second and third floors. Plans call for construction of six units on each level. The building’s fourth floor has four existing one- and two-bedroom apartments that are all occupied. Current residents will not be displaced during construction.
Occupancy for the new apartment units will be comprised of 51 percent low-moderate income households.
“Creating new purpose for a historical building adds another layer of significance to the community,” said Kevin Elsenheimer, executive director of MSHDA. “Mather Inn’s story just gets better because the next chapter includes new affordable housing options for local residents.”
Mather Inn residents can walk to many local amenities such as restaurants, retail shops, a full grocery store, a library, churches and a post office. They also have direct access to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. These modern conveniences are set against the historic backdrop of the colonial revival Mather Inn Building.
The Mather Inn was built as a first-class hotel in 1931 with 55 guest rooms, men’s and women’s clubrooms, a lounge and banquet space. It earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and continued operating until the early 1980s.
“I am happy to see MSHDA continuing to reward quality projects throughout the Upper Peninsula,” said Rep. John Kivela (D-Marquette). “It is from innovative projects like this that we can both save a part of our local history and help our communities move forward into the future. I applaud MSHDA and the project developers on creating this new chapter for the historic Mather Inn.”
The building was sold at a tax sale auction in 1986 and sat in disrepair for nearly 30 years before the current owner converted the building’s lower level lounge and below-grade boiler room into a microbrewery and serving lounge. They opened for business in January.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*
*MSHDA’s loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/mshda.