Lloyd House Changing the Look of Affordable Housing

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The month of May is Affordable Housing Month. In celebration of Affordable Housing Month, Rural Resurrection is looking at adaptive reuse of the Lloyd House building as a way to help affordable housing in your rural community. 

Menomiee is the fourth largest community in Michigan’s upper peninsula. But that’s not saying much as the town is home to only 8,599 residents. The community started as a lumber town relatively near to the mouth of Green Bay. At one point the community produced more lumber than any other city in the United States of America. It is no longer a major lumber producer, but the community has successfully evolved to manufacture paper products, wicker lawn furniture, and automotive parts. The community has also worked to improve its tourism base as well.

The Lloyd Building

As with many rural communities, Menomiee has a large building that has been a focal point of the community for many years. And like most communities, the Lloyd building has been a focal point in both good and bad ways. Built in 1926, the Marshall B. Lloyd’s Wonder Store served many rolls in the community. Located in the historic Waterfront District of downtown Menominee, this sizable building drew the interest of various businesses. It was host to retail, service, and light assembly uses through the years.

However, the building reached the end of its useful economic life in the early 2000s and was abandoned and it started to deteriorate. Thankfully, a decade later Woda Group of Westerville, Ohio showed interest in the structure and bought it in 2012.

Llyod House LIHTC Project

Photo Courtesy of National Equity Fund

A New Life as Affordable Housing

Woda Group reached out to USDA Rural Development to get involved in adaptively reusing the building to provide affordable apartments to the community. USDA provided a $650,000 Section 538 Rural Housing Loan Guarantee to aid in the rehabilitation of the structure.  Additional funding was provided through tax credits allocated by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MHSDA). These credits were then sold to National Equity Fund®, a tax credit syndication fund manager that helped provide the financing. In total, over $13.5 million was spent to purchase and revive the historic structure.

Renovation activities were careful to incorporate the historic aspects of the structure. The layout of the units was devised to take advantage of the high ceilings and the large windows that overlook Lake Michigan. The building’s lighting and high-efficiency heat pump systems were camouflaged to retain the exterior’s historic feel.

The Lloyd House now contains 44 affordable residences for low-income individuals and families. To qualify, renters must earn between 30-60 percent of Area Median Income. It also houses two market-rate apartments and a wide variety of amenities. The building provides a laundry facility, storage space, community room, exercise room, computer room and 58 parking spaces in a heated underground garage.

Yes, you read that right, affordable housing with a heated underground garage. The Lloyd House Apartments are changing the way that you look at affordable housing.

With the help of a development company, USDA Rural Development, and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Menominee has been able to add 44 affordable housing units. The project also restored a large historic, but abandoned building in the community’s downtown. Overall, it is an ideal example of a win-win development for the community.