Brian Conway, head of the State Historic Preservation Office, and project developer Michael Jacobson talk about the 630 Lofts affordable housing project

The community took its first look at a new affordable housing development at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons that will start welcoming residents in mid-July.

Project developers Michael and Robert Jacobson showed off their 630 Lofts project, a 39-unit affordable housing development that will consume about 40,000 square feet of the north end of historic Building 50, on Friday to dozens of local residents, project financiers and state and local officials.

Units in the $13 million development range in size from 300-square-foot efficiency apartments up to 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom units. Rents are based on residents’ incomes and range from $425 up to around $780 per month including utilities.

The units are spread across four floors of the former state hospital administration building and include three efficiency apartments, 21 single-bedroom units and 16 two-bedroom units.

Public dollars toward the development include an $8 million low-income housing tax credit through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and $4 million in state historic redevelopment tax credits. The project is already filled and there’s a growing waiting list of interested tenants, developers said.

“This has been a community effort,” said Michael Jacobson, who’s developed several affordable housing projects around the state with his son Robert, who’s also president of Leelanau Wine Cellars in Omena. “We could not have gotten to where we are today without the support of the community.”

Traverse City Mayor Christopher Bzdok described the Jacobsons’ project as “visionary” and “extraordinary.”

“We’ve been talking about workforce housing and affordable housing for a long time, but mostly it’s been just talk,” Bzdok said.

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