Midtown's Sherbrooke Apts renovation lands key state funds

The Sherbrooke Apartments project in Midtown recently received a key piece of funding that will allow the renovation to continue to move forward.

The $2.4 million project recently received a nearly $600,000 Community Revitalization Program grant from the State of Michigan. The performance-based grant is the replacement for the historic tax credit program that was phased out when the state overhauled and simplified its business tax code. The City of Detroit is also expected to approved a 12-year tax abatement for the project worth $842,413.

"It (the Community Revitalization Program grant) is absolutely crucial," says Lis Knibbe, developer of the Sherwood Apartments project. "Without that subsidy, you can't do this. The numbers just don't work."

The Sherbrooke Apartments opened in 1913 geared toward providing larger, luxury units. It was later chopped into several smaller units before going vacant in recent years. Knibbe, who is also a principal at Quinn Evans Architects, and her partners began renovating the building at the corner of Second Avenue and West Hancock Street earlier this year.

Knibbe and her team are turning the apartment building into six 1-bedroom and eight 2-bedroom units with the potential of combining some of the 1- and 2-bedroom units into a large 3-bedroom apartment. The project will restore the original woodwork in the building, along with a number of smaller original details. It will add a geothermal heating system, restore the building's original windows and provide a balcony or private outdoor space for each unit that is above ground. Rents will range between $850 and $1,500 per month and the project looks to service students and professionals at the nearby Wayne State University. Work is expected to wrap up by the end of this year.

Source: Lis Knibbe, developer of the Sherwood Apartments
Writer: Jon Zemke

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