Sterling Heights

Adaptive re-use project will convert Sterling Heights hotel into residential housing

A Los Angeles-based developer renovating and converting vacant and distressed hotels into affordable housing developments has set its sights on Sterling Heights.

With one such development completed in Branson, Mo., and another underway in Sheffield, Ala., the Repvblik company is bringing its Plato’s Cave brand of housing developments to the shuttered Wyndham Garden hotel and convention center in Sterling Heights. The company announced its purchase of the vacant property for $5.25 million in late June.

The adaptive re-use of the property is expected to bring 155 studio apartments and 53 one-bedroom units to Sterling Heights. An estimated $10 million redevelopment, the Plato’s Cave Sterling Heights location will also feature coworking space, a restaurant, fitness lounge, onsite storage, and possible retail space.

While exact numbers weren’t yet made available, the company is advertising the development as one that features affordable housing, a term which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines as occupants not paying more than “30 percent of [their] gross income for housing costs, including utilities” — though it should be noted that Repvblik touts itself as an expert in adaptive re-use projects that don’t utilize federal funding and tax credits.

“Sterling Heights is a tremendously strong and attractive market with big demand for affordable, quality housing,” says Richard Rubin, founder and CEO of Repvblik.

“Repvblik is proud to have the opportunity to bring our latest project here to benefit the community and the economy and to do so without the need for any government funds or tax incentives.”

The redevelopment will convert the hotel’s 189 rooms into 157 residential units; a smaller building on the north side of the property will feature an additional 51 residential units. Amenities like a residents’ lounge and coworking space will be located in the main building.

Exterior work, landscaping improvements, and changes to the facade are also planned. Construction is expected to begin in late 2021 with residents moving in as soon as the second quarter of 2022.

“We are excited to [be] bringing much needed affordable housing to the Sterling Heights community and proud to develop this project in our home state of Michigan,” says Chris Potterpin, principal at Repvblik and vice president of Okemos, Mich.-based PK Companies, LLC, co-owner of Repvblik.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.