Public servants may get first dibs as Emma Jean Hull Flats in Benton Harbor begin pre-leasing units

A new multi-family housing development in Benton Harbor with a private dog park and a view of the water, too, is now accepting applications for new residents. Public service workers will get top priority on some of the units.

The $23 million Emma Jean Hull Flats, an 80-unit development on Riverview Drive, is slated to open in the spring of 2023. Monthly rents will start at $1,350 for one-bedroom units and $1,650 for two-bedroom units. 

The project is a key initiative of both the city and Whirlpool Corporation to promote housing that will be attractive to both Whirlpool employees and other residents of Benton Harbor. 

Some of the units will be reserved for public service workers — teachers, police officers, firefighters, etc. This priority to “Hometown Heroes” will ensure that the building’s residents are connected to the community they call home. “There isn’t a set percentage reserved for public servants, which is why we are trying to get the word out now so any  who might be interested can apply right away,” says Chad Parks, senior manager of communications at the Whirlpool Corporation.

Potential residents interested in renting through the Hometown Hero program must complete an application and meet the same leasing criteria as any other resident. Hometown Heroes will be eligible for reduced rent based on financial need. Eligibility for the program will be consistent with all federal, state and local housing laws. 

All residents will be required to be permanent residents of the city of Benton Harbor for the entire duration of their lease. Short-term, part-time, or vacation rentals will not be allowed for any of the units.

Amenities include a rooftop patio with spectacular waterfront views and a dog park. 

The location offers easy access to walking paths, kayaking, fishing, golf, and local restaurants.

Superior Properties, an independent, local property management company, manages the property for Whirlpool Corporation. Anyone interested in becoming a resident of Emma Jean Hull Flats can obtain a rental application online here or by contacting Superior Property Management at or by phone at 269-743-4870.

In collaboration with the city of Benton Harbor’s elected officials and a priority of Whirlpool Corp.’s Equality Pledge, this development is leading by example through expanding high-quality, market-rate housing in Benton Harbor that will attract new occupants to be residents of the community. When fully leased, the Emma Jean Hull Flats will be home to approximately 100 permanent residents of the city of Benton Harbor, adding to the city’s tax base and stimulating new business and economic growth, consistent with the city’s comprehensive development plan.

“Despite supply chain disruption, labor shortages, inflation, and some significant weather challenges, the Emma Jean Hull Flats housing development will be opening for residents in spring of 2023,” says Pam Klyn, Whirlpool Corp. Senior VP of Corporate Relations and Sustainability. “This project would not have been possible without strong collaboration between the city of Benton Harbor and Whirlpool Corporation. We’re excited about the important role this new housing development will play in attracting and retaining talent locally. We know the lack of housing has been a barrier up to this point, and we’re confident the Emma Jean Hull Flats project will serve as a catalyst for even more housing development in Benton Harbor.”

“We want to continue to grow our city to become a place that welcomes all people to live here,” says city of Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad, “including those ‘Hometown Heroes’ who work hard to make our community better every single day, our underrepresented colleagues who will be joining Whirlpool, and others looking to settle in our community, such as the graduates of our local high school.” 

“This waterfront facility can be the magnet,” he says, “to attract a talented and diverse set of residents, proud to call Benton Harbor home.”

Emma Jean Hull was mayor of Benton Harbor from 1992 to 1996.

Whirlpool Corporation is driving purposeful innovation to meet the evolving needs of consumers through its brand portfolio, including Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Consul, Brastemp, Amana, Bauknecht, JennAir, Indesit, Yummly and InSinkErator. In 2021, the company reported approximately $22 billion in annual sales, 69,000 employees, and 54 manufacturing and technology research centers. Additional information about the company can be found here .

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Read more articles by Rosemary Parker.

Rosemary Parker has worked as a writer and editor for more than 40 years, most of that time in Southwest Michigan.