Reuse of former Wyndham Garden hotel in Sterling Heights takes shape
With a higher price tag and a slightly delayed schedule, work has begun on a $19 million project to redevelop the former Wyndham Garden Sterling Heights into a mixed-use development with apartments, retail and offices.
The property called Plato’s Cave, at 34911 Van Dyke Ave., is expected to open this year, said developer Chris Potterpin, co-founder of Los Angeles-based Repvblik LLC.
“We have withdrawn our demonstration permit and started interior demolition and construction work, and are working on our construction schedule,” he said.
Plans were for the project to be completed in the fall of this year, but the effects of COVID-19 have set things back, Potterpin said.
“We had to look for a few more (subcontractors), we had to go back and refine our offers a few times due to price spikes and supply chain issues,” he said. “We took a little longer in the bidding process than we had in the past given today’s construction market.”
The proponent does not intend to seek federal funding or tax credits. At the end of last year, they closed the financing for the construction of the project.
“Everything is locked down,” Potterpin said. “We’re swinging a few hammers and can’t wait to start swinging more.”
Repvblik announced last year that it had purchased the former hotel and convention center for $5.25 million for what was to be a $10 million adaptive reuse project. The previous owner put the two-building complex up for sale in April 2020, just at the start of the pandemic in Michigan.
The company, which has done other adaptive reuse projects, plans to turn old hotel rooms into relatively affordable rental housing for local workers, students and seniors.
The number of planned apartments has increased from 208 to 213 for studios and one-bedroom units, Potterpin said.
City officials said the project will fill a need for affordable rental housing in the city.
The development is underway with the site plan approval process with the city, said Sterling Heights planner Chris McLeod, adding that the project will soon enter its engineering and construction plan review process.
“They have submitted interior renovation plans for some of the interior spaces which will also be reviewed,” he said.
Earlier this month, Potterpin said it had completed the auction or donation of a few thousand pieces of equipment and furniture left over from the sale.
Potterpin said this company has attracted interest from potential residents and commercial tenants. The development will include 67,000 square feet of retail and office space. Facilities will include a restaurant, co-working space, fitness lounge and storage space.
They also spoke with interested commercial tenants in areas such as health and wellness, medical and a small urban grocery store, Potterpin said.
“We’ve had five or six interested tenants which are pretty cool projects,” he said. “Very different uses of space.”