A proposal to bring much needed rental properties to Marshall is one step closer to becoming a reality.
In a meeting on Aug. 26, the village planning commission directed Marshall-based Little Creek Construction to submit a request for rezoning a village-owned property, which is located on the south side of Whistle Street. The property would be home to three proposed rental buildings, according to Little Creek’s current plans for the site, but would need to be rezoned as multi-family before any construction could take place.
Each building would contain 16-units featuring either one or two bedrooms, Little Creek owner Mike Filkouski said. The first two buildings on the site would also be reserved for people ages 55 and older, while the plan for the third building would depend on “what the market dictates,” he said.
“We’re very confident that 32 units of 55 and older will fill rather quickly,” he said. “We do not know if all 48 (units) will.”
Filkouski also noted current plans do not feature “one to one” covered garages attached to any of the rental buildings.
The entire project would take three years to complete, with each year being allocated to the construction of a single building and priority given to the senior housing.
“One of the buildings will have a community space,” Little Creek Vice President Jill Filkouski added. “There will be an outdoor patio, a garden area (and) sitting space outside, because we know that it’s incredibly important to create a sense of community for (people) 55 and older.”
Lighthouse Commercial Real Estate, which was hired by the village to find a buyer for the Whistle Street property, initially looked into a variety of uses for the site prior to settling on a housing project.
“We initially targeted hotel groups and commercial uses,” Lighthouse President David Haug said. “I know that there were some desires in the past to have a hotel, (but) Marshall is just not big enough to support a hotel — not yet. What (you) need is a greater population and more of a reason to stay overnight in Marshall.”
An event planning company also expressed interest in constructing a small metal building with a large parking lot at the Whistle Stop site, but Haug said the project value would not have been high enough.
“I think the max that they were going to spend was $500,000 and one of our goals was to bring a project that brings a lot of value to the Village of Marshall,” he said. “What the market has been telling us is that there is definitely a demand for senior housing-type developments, and that’s how we came across Little Creek and the Filkouskis.”
Over the next few weeks, the village will be working with Little Creek on refining a developer’s agreement for the project, with a goal of having the plan ready by the time the village board holds a public hearing on the rezone request, Village Administrator Judy Weter said.