2021 ANNOUNCEMENT

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BENTON HARBOR, Mich., March 3, 2022 – As work progresses on the new 80-unit multi-family housing development in Benton Harbor, the bid for the development’s property manager has been awarded to Superior Property Management, LLC. The Michigan-based company currently manages 16 apartment complexes and 18 condominium and homeowner associations, and will bring top local expertise to operating the new complex. Enabled through a planned $20 million investment by Whirlpool Corp., alongside support by the Michigan Strategic Fund, the development aims to attract a diverse set of residents, while offering vibrant housing options for the community.

“We’re excited to be taking this next step with this important project,” said Whirlpool Corp. Sr. VP, Corporate Relations and Sustainability, Pam Klyn. “Superior Property Management has the qualifications we were looking for in a property manager and is also a local company who understands the needs of this project and this community.”

Among the properties that Superior currently manages are Benton Manor Co-op in Benton Harbor, Lake Pines/Shores Apartments in St. Joseph, and three multi-family developments associated with Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph, Hartford, and Lawrence, Michigan. The company manages properties throughout southwestern Michigan and northeastern Indiana.

John Novak, co-owner of Superior Property Management said, "Superior Property Management is excited to continue its 50-year commitment to Southwestern Michigan by partnering with Whirlpool on this important investment in Benton Harbor. We look forward to working with the City of Benton Harbor to make its vision a reality."

The City of Benton Harbor and Whirlpool Corp. announced plans for the multi-family housing development in June of 2021 following Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant in the amount of $750,000 for the project and relevant road improvements. With the significance of the project as part of the state’s revitalization program, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer visited with Benton Harbor elected officials and local community leaders in August of 2021 for a ceremonial groundbreaking.

“Less than a year ago, we began the approval and funding process for the construction of this residential housing development, and we’re excited to see progress on the site with a planned opening later this year,” said City of Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad. “This project is important to the growth of our community, attracting as well as retaining residents to the area, including the diverse talent pool at Whirlpool Corporation and other area businesses.”

Despite the Michigan winter, John Auble at Arco Construction noted that construction has continued throughout and the project is making excellent progress. "Everything is proceeding as planned—our work on the site is nearly complete, and we are very close to pouring the foundation. It will be exciting to see the building take shape this summer."

The multi-family development will have 80 apartments and 120 parking spaces. The project is a $22 million investment, including almost $1 million in public infrastructure. Information on pre-leasing will be forthcoming in late summer of 2022, with an anticipated opening for the housing development in Q4 of this year.

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From vacant lot to community growth

OUR VISION

As a community, we have great pride in creating opportunities for our many vibrant and diverse neighborhoods to thrive. It’s our hope to continue to attract diverse, permanent, year-round residents to work at our local businesses. We also want to continue building an environment that will attract recent graduates or former residents and keep pulling them back to our City of Benton Harbor to make it their home once again. We are taking another step toward this goal by announcing a new housing development.
The vacant lot, located near both Whirlpool Corporation Riverview Campus and Tech Center, has sat empty for over 25 years. We want to bring it to life by welcoming more diverse residents and their economic activity to our community.

BENEFIT TO THE CITY

The 80-unit, multi-family housing development will be built on Riverview Drive. The $20 million project expects to break ground in late July 2021 and open by late fall 2022. The anticipated 110 residents living in the units will be plugged into our city’s infrastructure including city water.

In addition to encouraging diversity in our community, economy and local employment, we expect this development to generate up to $100,000 annually for the City of Benton Harbor Income Tax Fund from the anticipated 110 residents who will live there.

Input from Community Figures

As we continue to polish up our gem city to further its growth, we want to aid in that polishing process. I would love to see our downtown area continue to flourish as well as our neighborhoods within the inner city, and I look forward to supporting opportunities to bring all of this to life.

MARY ALICE ADAMS
Benton Harbor Commissioner at Large &
Co-Chair of Planning & Economic Development

It is with great joy that in the middle of uncertainty, we can continue to bring hope to our city with opportunities for housing, employment, business and income to be that city gem on Lake Michigan. It will be my pleasure working with those who will make this project come to realization to continue the growth of our great city.

JERRY EDWARDS
Benton Harbor City Commissioner 2nd Ward

This development will build on the natural beauty of Benton Harbor’s picturesque waterways and embrace the city’s history to bring a place that residents will want to call home.

RON SINGLETON
Benton Harbor City
Commissioner at Large

A vibrant city to call home is a beautiful thing. I look forward to welcoming this development to further strengthen opportunities for our community where everyone is able to enjoy and be a part of the City of Benton Harbor.

RUTHIE HARALSON
Benton Harbor City
Commissioner 4th Ward

I’m looking forward to seeing waterfront living along with the natural landscape beauty of the City of Benton Harbor. It’s a place that history has shaped, and it will soon be a place residents can say, ‘There’s no place like home.’

EDWARD ISOM
Benton Harbor City
Commissioner at Large

It’s exciting to see strong advocates for Benton Harbor come together to support this development. Together, we continue to believe in future possibilities for our community and welcoming more residents to enjoy all that our city has to offer.

DUANE SEATS
Benton Harbor Mayor Pro Tem & Co-Chair of Planning & Economic
Development Committee, City of Benton Harbor

This project is the beginning of a positive development through shared vision with community leaders and partners to foster successful revitalization that values culture and not just economic activity, and helps ensure lasting, positive impact.

SHARON HENDERSON
Benton Harbor City Commissioner & Co-Chair of Public Safety & Recreation Committee

Welcome to the neighborhood

We want to grow our city and continue to make it a place that welcomes all people and creates opportunities, especially for the potential new hires of employers in the area and graduates of our local high school who want to continue to call Benton Harbor their home. I look forward to working with the many talented individuals who share this vision and support this new housing development as part of that vision.

MARCUS MUHAMMAD
Benton Harbor City Mayor

MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING, 80 UNITS

ESTIMATED 110 RESIDENTS

OUTDOOR ACTIVITY SPACE

RESIDENT MEETING ROOM

WATERFRONT VIEWS

NEARBY TRAILS FOR
WALKING AND BIKING

Development location on Riverview Drive

Our dedication

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY FOR THE CITY OF BENTON HARBOR

The development is being built to attract residents from all walks of life to live here and contribute to the diversity of our city and its companies.

For instance, one of our largest area employers, Whirlpool Corporation, has committed to help, including underwriting the multi-family housing project. Their Racial Equality Pledge goal will increase diverse employment across all levels of the company as an effort to create and sustain positive impact for current and future minority employees. This goal doesn’t start and stop within Whirlpool; the company wants to see this diversity reflected in the community, too.

Much like the city, they want to see diversity considered in local, attractive housing in their community. Everyone believes we can create a ripple effect by welcoming more diverse people to our community and companies.

While our actions are focused within our “four walls” and our local communities, we believe our efforts will have a beneficial effect on society at large.

MARC BITZER
CEO, Whirlpool Corporation

Answering questions from the community

WHO OWNS THE LAND THAT WILL BE DEVELOPED?

Harbor Shores currently owns the property and will be determining the property’s future ownership structure to support the financing and development of the apartment complex.

IS THE CITY COVERING ANY OF THE COSTS OF THE PROJECT?

No, the City of Benton Harbor will not be covering any of the development costs. The project will incur $800,000 worth of road improvements on the current conditions of Riverview Drive, and Whirlpool Corporation will be covering that cost.

HOW WILL RENT COST BE DETERMINED?

Rental rates will be based upon the costs for the construction and reasonable rents needed to cover those costs, in line or below the average rates of similar such units available in the northern portion of Berrien County.

WILL THIS BE SECTION 8 HOUSING?

No, this will be a market-rent apartment complex furthering the important development of the City of Benton Harbor’s downtown and arts districts. Whirlpool Corporation will be funding this market-rent development, pulling in the right experts along the way. The City is considering other subsidized housing options in its plans for future development of the community.

WHAT IS BEING DONE TO PREVENT GENTRIFICATION?

Gentrification is change in a historically disinvested neighborhood through real estate investment and higher-income residents of different racial and economic backgrounds moving in. This parcel is located on a previously industrialized lot, which was also the site of a former auto dealership. Afterward, it sat vacant for over 25 years. The city is committed to preventing gentrification, but it isn’t a factor in this development as there are no neighborhoods in the immediate area.

GET INVOLVED WITH OUR VISION

If you’re interested in helping the City of Benton Harbor continue to create opportunities for our vibrant, diverse neighborhoods, stay tuned for announcements at Benton Harbor City Commission meetings.