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Next up in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood
The Detroit-Shoreway area is known for its Gordon Square Arts District and as a mixed-income residential area popular with a growing number of upper income folks. The latest project by the Detroit-Shoreway Community Development Organization nonprofit combines both.
The project also repurposes an old, long-vacant industrial building with a surprising history in a region of steel makers and metal benders.
The $8 million project is just starting to convert to apartments and live-work studios for artists an industrial building at 5700 Detroit Ave. for Templin-Bradley Co., which once boasted it was the world's largest distributor of seeds and bulbs for gardeners.
Matt Lasko, assistant director of Detroit Shoreway, describes the Templin-Bradley project as a "true mixed-income project" because half its suites will be restricted to low income tenants who will pay $250 to $750 monthly due to the project's low-income housing tax credits. The other half will be market-rate housing going for $750 to $1,000 monthly.
"We've dispersed the low-income units throughout the building and have not reserved the top floors for market-rate units," Lasko said.
The four-story building will accommodate artists with an offering designed as work-live space with an apartment and space for a studio. The setup takes advantage of the building's massive windows high ceilings typical of industrial buildings when it went up in 1916.
The four artist suites are equally divided as well, with half restricted to people with lower incomes. The live-work space for artists also helped with the project's financing. That allowed it to garner a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lasko said. Additional funding came from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the city of Cleveland, the sale of state and federal historic preservation tax credits and a loan from Huntington National Bank. Columbus-based Ohio Capital Corp. was the investor in the tax credits for the project.
The nature of the Templin-Bradley Co. helped the project justify its historic tax credits, Lasko said, because the concern had a social mission of providing free bulbs and seeds in the United States in the Great Depression and in Europe during reconstruction after World War II. The outfit also had a program designed to teach students how to grow plants for food, and later, flowers, and even had a program helping children transform vacant lots near Cleveland public schools to gardens.
The front and side yard of Templin-Bradley also were not a typical parking lot. When the seed firm owned the building, the yard was a showplace for plants — actually a test garden, Lasko said. Detroit-Shoreway and the LAND studio plan to install a dense flower and shrub garden on the site to reflect its original use.
When the Templin-Bradley Building opens in April 2015, it will join 14 other projects that Detroit-Shoreway has done over the years that added 229 units to the West Side neighborhood.
"There is a lot of affordable housing in the neighborhood and we believe a project that is in itself truly mixed-income meets our mission in a mixed-income community," Lasko said.