Phelps School redevelopment

The redevelopment of C.L. Phelps Middle School in Ishpeming into affordable housing has taken a step forward.

Haan Development of downstate Harbor Springs has received more than $750,000 in grants.

The money comes from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

The redevelopment of the former school could not take place without that money.

Ben Ide of Haan Development says because the apartments will have lower rents than the market average, the company can’t support enough traditional debt to make the project feasible economically without the funding.

Haan Development wants to transform the Phelps property into 24 apartments aimed at families.

The company is now applying for more than $4 million in MSHDA low–income housing tax credits.

Ide says the tax credits would be the primary funding source for the $5 million project, and if the credits aren’t approved, the project can’t go forward.

He says MSHDA’s deadline to apply for the credits is February 15th.

If all future steps proceed according to plan, the apartments would be ready for tenants in the fall of 2014.

Students moved out of Phelps midway through the 2010–2011 school year.