Birchwood Garden Apartments was sold last week, and the new owner, American Preferred Management Co, Inc in Cascade, has some changes in store for the complex. Most notably, the apartments will no longer be considered low-income housing going forward.
“All the great people of Lowell who weren’t qualified to live at Birchwood before will be able to do so now,” says John Murphy, vice president of the management firm.
Located at the west end of Hunt Street, the apartments were previously only available to those who met USDA Rural Housing program requirements. Those define low-income households as ones earning less than 80% of the median family income for Kent County. As a result, in 2020, a family of four could earn no more than $64,150 to qualify for low-income housing.
While Birchwood Garden Apartments will no longer be designated low-income housing, Murphy says current residents shouldn’t see their rates increase much, if anything. American Preferred Management is working with the USDA to ensure those currently receiving housing assistance will continue to do so.
“We anticipate everyone to be paying their same rental amount,” Murphy says. However, the final decision rests with USDA Rural Development
Meanwhile, new residents will move in at market rates as units become available. Currently, all 34 of the complex’s one and two-bedroom apartments are occupied.
Excited to be in Lowell
Murphy says when American Preferred Management discovered Birchwood Garden Apartments was up for sale, it seemed like a perfect opportunity for the business to expand into Lowell. The company also has complexes in Grand Rapids, Belding and Lake Odessa.
“We love Lowell,” Murphy says. However, it goes beyond business for him. The company vice president has a personal connection to the community since he grew up here and was a member of the Lowell High School Class of ’98.
Looking forward, the company has plans to make updates to the playground area as well as small enhancements inside units, such as the addition of vinyl plank flooring in some areas. “It’s not going to change a lot,” Murphy notes.
Those seeking more information can reach Birchwood Garden Apartments at 616-897-8049.