Workforce Housing for Grand Traverse Region Launched in East Bay Township

November 17th, 2022

Workforce Housing for Grand Traverse Region Launched in East Bay Township

East Bay Township, Michigan – Project developers broke ground this week on a major housing development that will boost workforce housing opportunities for residents and businesses across the Grand Traverse Area.

Brigantine Apartments, located on a rolling 38-acre site on the west side of Four Mile Road just north of Hammond Road in East Bay Township, will provide 192 apartments upon completion, plus other tenant amenities including a clubhouse and swimming pool. The property is owned by Coseo Properties Inc., which owns and maintains almost 3,000 residential units across Michigan. The project is being constructed by Cunningham-Limp, while other design and development partners include Traverse Architect Group, Mansfield Land Use Consultants, and Resurget Engineering.

The development has received a positive response from the community as it continues to look for solutions to the area’s severe housing shortage.

“Brigantine Apartments has spent the last several months in a vigorous planning and predevelopment phase, so this groundbreaking marks a significant milestone in the project’s timeline,” said Cunningham-Limp’s Bill Hedlund, the project manager for construction.
“Once construction officially commences, the project will be tightly managed to ensure it reaches its expected completion date of November 2024.”

Notably, this faster-than-average turnaround time is remarkable considering the well-known shortages in materials and labor within the building industry. Cunningham-Limp’s motivation for the speed of construction and guaranteed success has to do with the company’s mission to have a positive impact on communities.

Coseo Properties Chairman Chris Coseo said his company has been exploring potential projects in the Grand Traverse region for an extended period and was able to purchase an existing apartment building on the site before closing on an adjacent 38-acre parcel that will be home to Brigantine Apartments.

“We’ve always loved this part of the state and have been looking for housing opportunities up here,” Coseo said. He’s already been in contact with area employers who are interested in leasing options to provide housing for their employees.

“There’s a definite need – there’s just not enough housing up here,” Coseo said.
Coseo said the company met with several potential construction partners before deciding on Cunningham-Limp as its development firm, because of Cunningham-Limp’s strong track record and familiarity with the region. Northern Trust, a global financial firm based in Chicago, and their Senior Vice President, Matthew Rechner who have underwritten and sponsored dozens of loans on Coseo residential projects throughout Michigan since 2008, will provide financing for the project.

“They’re major players,” Coseo said of Cunningham-Limp. “Everyone told us we can’t go wrong with Cunningham-Limp.”

Recent regional housing studies show that more than 15,600 housing units are needed in the 10-county region to meet existing demand, most for homes and apartments targeting the regional workforce. Notably, rent prices have risen 20% in the last 18 months. Available housing stock also remains stagnant while the number of seasonal housing units and short-term rental conversions continues to grow, also limiting housing options for the region’s workforce. Project developers said the Brigantine Apartments complex and other similar projects will help put a dent in the region’s acute housing shortage.

“Any addition to the region’s attainable housing inventory is positive,” said Cunningham-Limp’s VP of Strategy & Community Impact Doug Luciani, who is headquartered in Traverse City. “However, the region will need developers willing and able to build to a larger scale, along with strong collaboration with local governments, to truly move the needle on housing. This project helps accomplish that.”