A former public school in Portland, Mich., that was transformed into multifamily apartments is ready to welcome its first residents. Located at 306 Brush St., Portland School Apartments was developed by Woda Cooper Cos. The firm transformed the building, which has been vacant since 1996, into a 29-unit, partially affordable community and plans to host its grand ppening on May 10. The new multifamily property will provide modern apartments to seniors and working singles or families that earn up to 60 percent of the area’s median income.
The City of Portland was about to demolish the 1919-built school after a tornado destroyed several downtown homes in 2015, but Woda proposed that the property be turned into a residential development. Following the approval, the adaptive-reuse project gained $7.5 million in funding via programs such as Low Income Housing Tax Credits allocated by Michigan State Housing Development Authority, historic credits from the National Park Service and money granted by The City of Portland. PNC Bank provided the construction, bridge and permanent loans.
Portland School Apartments preserved several of its former Collegiate Gothic architectural features, including the brick and stone façade, interior wood flooring, millwork, as well as the design of the windows. In addition, several contemporary finishes and energy-saving features, such as Energy Star appliances, were built into the open-concept units, three of which are fully handicapped accessible.
The community offers one-, two- and three bedroom units ranging in size from 800 to 1,300 square feet, according to Yardi Matrix data. Amenities include an elevator, community room, fitness center, outdoor barbecue space and off-street parking. The property has a new bus stop in front of the building and is also near Brush Street Park, which features updated equipment that Woda Cooper donated and installed.
Image courtesy of Woda Cooper Cos.