Renovation preserves 105 units of housing for older adults

MIDLAND, Mich. (August 11, 2023) – The construction trailers are gone and the residents are all back home; the renovation of Cleveland Manor I is officially over.

Contractors managed by Three Rivers Corporation completed work on the building at the end of July. After moving the last few relocated residents back to their leased apartments, workers finished up common spaces and outdoor areas. The project resulted in the preservation of 105 units of housing for older adults living on limited incomes.

“At Three Rivers, we believe every project provides a unique opportunity for us to create a lasting impact,” said Jon Lynch, President of Three Rivers Corporation. “The opportunity to renovate Cleveland Manor allowed us to give back to those who call this place home, creating a lasting impact on the lives of its residents. We are humbled by the trust placed in us, and it was an honor to play a role in this transformative project.”

The renovation of Cleveland Manor I was needed to replace deteriorating cast iron plumbing in the walls and beneath the ground, and to upgrade the electrical system. The project also included improvements designed to enhance the quality of life enjoyed by residents, including walk-in showers and upgraded water heaters, as well as new cabinetry through a partnership with Midland’s own Case Systems.

“We had such wonderful partners for this project,” said Trudy Laufer, Executive Director of Cleveland Manor. “From design to site supervision, Three Rivers ensured our apartments are as great beneath the floors and behind the walls as they are on the surface. They took care of us and – most importantly – our residents.”

Laufer also heaped praise on the major contractors who took part in the endeavor. “We contract with Reliable Plumbing, ESCON Group, and Sugar Construction on lots of smaller projects. They always do such wonderful work and we are glad they were involved.”

The $4.4 million project broke ground in spring of 2022, more than a decade after it was conceived. “We renovated our sister property, Cleveland Manor II, through a HUD program in 2010,” explained Laufer. But Cleveland Manor I was not eligible. “We knew then how badly this renovation was needed. After exhausting other options, I sought help from the local foundations.”

In the meantime, the project went through multiple design phases and pilot renovations funded through the Community Development Block Program. Several apartments received updated bathrooms and/or kitchens. This helped reduce the cost of the project when the entire building was renovated.

Over the past three years, local foundations and other contributors granted more than $4 million toward the project. The Herbert H. & Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, and the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation each gave $1 million or more. Significant contributions were also made by the Harry A. & Margaret D. Towsley Foundation, the Midland Area Community Foundation, the Consumers Energy Foundation, the Dow Company Foundation, the Alden & Vada Dow Family Foundations, #TeamUp for the Great Lakes Bay Region, and Cleveland Manor, Inc.

“The foundations really came through for us,” Laufer said. “Midland has such a fantastic, generous, caring philanthropic community. They took an interest in our mission and the importance of our residents, and they made sure we could continue serving them for another 30 to 50 years.”

Built in 1968, Cleveland Manor I was the first affordable housing option for Midland County’s senior citizens. The building is located on a seven-acre site with its sister complex, Cleveland Manor II. Both buildings are managed by nonprofit organizations, collectively called Cleveland Manor. The entire facility was designed by Alden B. Dow.

“Completing the renovations at Cleveland Manor has been an extraordinary journey for us, not only because it allowed us to improve 105 residential units but also because it marked another significant milestone in the respect we have for the work completed by Alden B. Dow,” said Lynch. “We are deeply honored to have been entrusted with the renovations of ten Alden B. Dow designs in our company’s history, preserving and enhancing our community’s architectural heritage.”


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