275 W Clay Ave - Muskegon, MI
The Berkshire–Muskegon is an 84-unit mixed-use senior housing community located at 1stand Clay in Downtown Muskegon. The 3-story brick building includes ground floor commercial space facing Clay, community space and resident amenities facing Webster and residential units in a courtyard configuration. AgeWell Services of West Michigan will occupy the 5,600 SF commercial space with offices and The Driftwood Café, a reduced cost food venue intended to serve the general public and area residents with limited incomes. The site produces a WalkScore® of 82, indicating a highly pedestrian environment that is convenient to shopping and services. The Muskegon Farmers Market, one of Michigan’s largest and longest operating open air markets, is only two blocks away.
The Berkshire – Muskegon was the first new development to be built under the city’s recently adopted “Form Base Code,” a progressive zoning tool intended to encourage more thoughtful urban design throughout Downtown Muskegon. The property falls into two “character areas,” each containing specific development parameters including “build to” setback lines, certain height and bulk restrictions and requirement for ground floor commercial space. One unique aspect of the process was that it was approved by City Staff, not requiring any commission or council approvals. The result is an urban, pedestrian-friendly building that fits comfortably into its downtown location.
The $16.3 million project was funded with tax credit equity from US Bancorp Community Development Corporation and a permanent loan from Chemical Bank.