Construction of a new 23,900 sq. ft. mixed-use, mixed-income building in downtown Sturgis. The ground floor commercial space will support an approximately 5,000 sq. ft. quality sit-down restaurant. The upper floors will include 25 apartments to respond to the community’s sizeable need for multi-family workforce housing. The Watershed, a development by Root and Branch Real Estate, will redevelop three underutilized sites downtown Sturgis by constructing a new modern, five-story, 25,000-square-foot mixed-use building. The roughly $11 million-project is being supported with $10 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation from Michigan Community Capital in addition to contributions from the City of Sturgis, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Old National Bank.
Located at 108 W Chicago Road, The Watershed will create 23 residential units above a first-floor restaurant space. Upper four floors of the building will be a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments. Six apartments will be income-restricted to renters earning upto 80% of the area median income while 13 units are expected to to lease at rents that would cause them to be “naturally occurring affordable” at these same income levels.
The new first-floor steakhouse-style restaurant is expected to create 30 full-time jobs paying a living wage in a severely distressed, non-metro census tract with a 25% poverty rate and a median family income of 59% the area median income. 29 of the new 30 positions will be accessible to applicants with accredited education less than a four year degree. Additionally, the restaurant will partner with GT Independence, a project partner company, to create a disability employment program. This program will focus on helping local people with physical or intellectual disabilities obtain paid internships with the steakhouse, receive support designed to help the employee identify and achieve career goals, develop job-related skills, and plan for advancement within or outside of the restaurant.
The Watershed is well-aligned with the City of Sturgis Master Plan which highlights the need for a greater variety of housing types to ensure people of all ages and income levels can live and succeed in Sturgis. Additionally, the project aligns with the plan’s finding that residents’ top priority for downtown retail options is to add more food and beverage establishments.