Why Livingston County is ‘late’ on building new homes

Despite soaring construction costs and pandemic-related challenges, new home construction in Livingston County — which slumped in the first year of the pandemic — is rising again, building department data shows. of Livingston County.

Between January and June, the county’s building department issued 361 permits for new single-family dwellings, up from 341 for the same period last year. In 2021, the county issued 566 permits for new single-family homes, compared to 549 in 2020, the year the pandemic began, and 565 in 2019.

Thousands of homes are either under construction or on offer across the county, and interest in new apartment buildings is growing, officials said.

Livingston County Association of Realtors Board Chairman James Dewling said the county’s current housing stock is not meeting demand.

“Livingston County is a very nice place to live, and the housing demand, the multiple supply situation, you see across the board,” Dewling said.

He said new construction — whether new single-family home subdivisions, condos or apartment complexes — would help stabilize the local residential real estate market.

“We’re way behind on new construction,” he said. “I think there are many builders, even national builders who see there is demand in Livingston County.”

Livingston County building official Jim Rowell said new residential construction has clearly recovered from the 2020 slump, but challenges remain for people looking to build a single-family home.

Small homebuilders are struggling, Rowell said, “Because they’re having a hard time finding trades people, like framing contractors, because the big ones have tied them up,” he said.

Dewling said the demand for ranch homes is high across all age groups.

He said the county has a diverse housing stock and buyers are looking for homes across the county.

“What’s interesting about Livingston County is all the types of properties they offer. There are equestrian properties, farms, lakeside homes, in the woods on 10 acres,” did he declare. “We have the town of Brighton, the town of Howell. It’s walkable to the coffeeshops. We have properties that adjoin the Huron River. Demand seems to be everywhere because there’s housing stock so diversified.”

Debra McKenzie, administrator of planning and zoning for the Township of Green Oak, said she has seen a shift toward residential projects that offer multiple types of housing. Township officials are currently reviewing a proposal that could bring more than 500 units to the township.

McKenzie said construction of new homes in existing subdivisions in the township “is active and steady, but appears to be slowing.”

Several homes were under construction in the new Marion Oaks subdivision off D-19/Pinckney Road near Howell in Marion Township.

Hartland-based Capital Custom Homes began construction in 2019 on what is approved to be 460 single-family homes and attached condos on the former Marion Oaks golf course site.

Rowell said there had been an increase in the development of new apartments.

After no permits for new apartments were issued in 2019 and 2020, the county issued 66 last year. Until June this year, 62 permits have been issued.

“I think builders are finding they can’t build affordable homes, so they’ve turned to apartment buildings,” Rowell said.

Some large residential developments have started and more will be soon.

Here are nearly a dozen of the largest active and proposed construction projects across the county, including major apartment projects:

More than 500 units offered in Green Oak

Representatives from Shelby Township-based Lombardo Homes recently relaunched plans for a 579-unit residential development – with 195 single-family homes and 384 ranch-style townhouses and apartments.

Members of the Township of Green Oak Planning Commission voted earlier this month in favor of the development, which is proposed on the north and south sides of Winans Lake Road off US 23 in the township. . City council is expected to review the plans at an upcoming council meeting.

AFTER: The Green Oak intersection near the Legacy Center Sports Complex will become a roundabout

The proposed homes and apartments are part of a larger plan to bring residential, commercial and recreational construction to properties around the Legacy Center sports complex.

Still Village in progress at Brighton Twp.

Troy-based Fairview Companies is building the first phase of a 542-unit seniors development, Encore Village, off Grand River Avenue around Pickerel Lake and part of Woodruff Lake in the Township of Brighton.

Encore Village will include ranch-style apartments and a 162-unit memory care and assisted living center on three floors.

Proposed housing mix on Mason Road

A group of property developers is pursuing a plan that could bring 533 new township residences, including 288 proposed apartments, to Howell Township.

Pending final approvals, the proposed homes would be built near the northwest corner of Mason and Burkhart roads.

Bruce Michael, a partner at Rochester Hills-based investment group Mason and Burkhart LLC, said in June they would likely start with single-family homes — they offered a total of 175 — and then build apartments.

The proposal also includes a 90-unit self-contained seniors’ residence.

Michael said they are targeting older people who are still active and want to live with low maintenance, but the houses will not be age-restricted.

Homes, proposed commercial in Hartland

East Lansing-based Mayberry Homes offered 417 residential units, which could be a mix of single-family homes, attached condominiums, apartments and duplexes in Hartland Township.

Newberry Place, which would also include commercial properties, is proposed on the north and south sides of M-59 west of Pleasant Valley and Fenton roads.

Luxury apartment on the Etang du Moulin approved

Lansing-based DTN Management is preparing to build a 235-unit four-storey luxury apartment complex on the Mill Pond in Brighton.

Members of Brighton City Council approved the project, Vista at Uptown, in May. The complex will be on North Second Street, between the road and Mill Pond, south of Advance Street.

DTN representative John Woods said in May that work on the foundation should begin this fall. Tenants are expected to move in by spring 2024.

OK apartments in Oceola Twp.

Earlier this year, Oceola Township officials approved Highland Knolls and Bethel Green in Highland Knolls, a 226-unit development, which includes a 127-unit three-story apartment complex and ranch-style apartments.

The residences will be built on the north side of M-59/Highland Road west of Latson Road.

Representatives of BRIDA, LLC, the investment group developing the property, told township officials they were targeting seniors for tenants.

Affordable options for raising in Howell Township.

Affordable options will increase by 220 apartment units on land on the west side of Oak Grove Road, immediately north of the Crossroads Town Center shopping complex in Howell Township.

Union Development Holdings, LLC, an investment group associated with Indianapolis-based affordable housing development company The Annex Group, obtained low-income housing tax credits through Michigan State Housing and Development Authority to build the complex, called Union at Oak Grove.

Apartments will be available to individuals and families earning 60% or less of the region’s median income and are expected to rent between $940 and $1,200 per month.

Apartments offered in Genoa Twp.

One of the most recent proposals is for 204 apartments in 12 buildings on the southeast corner of Grand River Avenue and Dorr Road in Genoa Township.

Farmington Hills-based real estate group Mr. Shapiro proposed The Legacy Apartment Homes as “an exclusive neighborhood community targeting multiple age demographics,” according to township documents.

Members of the Genoa Township Planning Commission voted to table the proposal earlier this week to continue reviewing the plans at an upcoming meeting.

Township community development manager Kelly VanMarter said commissioners asked the company to change plans and move it away from Dorr Road and Grand River Avenue. Township planners have also requested an updated traffic study to take into account the traffic that would be generated by Trinity Health’s proposed expansion of St. Joseph Mercy Brighton Health Center into a full-service hospital.

Hartland Twp Approved Apartments.

Earlier this year, Hartland Township officials approved final plans for a 148-unit Redwood Living apartment complex.

The apartments will be built on approximately 27 acres of Hartland Glen Golf Course, adjacent to M-59 and west of Pleasant Valley Road.

The settlement determined the fate of the closed school

A lawsuit settlement determined the fate of the former Lindbom Elementary School property in Brighton town centre.

In August 2021, Brighton City Council voted to turn down West Village, a 140 townhouse development at 1010 State St.

Bingham Farms-based development company SR Jacobson Development Corp. and the landlord jointly sued the city.

In May, city officials announced they had reached agreement on a modified plan, which reduced the number of units to 123 and reduced the height of buildings from three stories to two.

Hilton Cove underway at Brighton Twp.

Farmington Hills-based investment group Grand River Hilton, LLC has begun installing infrastructure for a 134-unit condominium complex north of Interstate 96.

Brighton Township officials have approved a total of 66 two-unit condos for the site as well as two free-standing units off Hilton Road about a quarter mile of Grand River Avenue in the township.

“We think Brighton is the best for a project like this,” Mark Kassab, a partner at the investment group, told the Livingston Daily in October. “The demand for products for sale is unprecedented.”

Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Eberbach at [email protected]