Historic Chelsea Rockwell Building Receives Almost $2M Revitalization Grant


Rendering of the planned redevelopment of the Rockwell Building, which will convert the vacant industrial property into 51 market-rate apartments. Image: Tri Terra Consulting via City of Chelsea.

A historic and blighted building in Downtown Chelsea that has been vacant for years has gotten another boost on its road to recovery.

Chelsea Rockwell LLC received $1,962,170 towards revitalizing the vacant Rockwell Building next to the Clocktower. The grant is part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Revitalization and Placemaking Program (RAP), which saw $99.2 million in grant funding throughout the state this year.

“I am excited about the latest investments my colleagues and I have worked to secure to invest in our state and the lives of Michiganders — including funding to aid in the redevelopment of the historic Chelsea Rockwell building, which has long been vacant and deserving of a new lease on life,” stated State Senator Sue Shink (D-NW Washtenaw). As a county commissioner I worked to support this important housing effort and, now as a State Senator, I am glad to see it progressing.”

The overarching intent of the RAP initiative is to offset COVID-19 impacts and bolster community revitalization. It aims at projects promoting population growth, tax revenue enhancement, rehabilitating vacant structures, and developing permanent place-based infrastructure such as outdoor dining and public spaces.

The historic Chelsea Rockwell building is poised for a significant transformation. Having remained vacant since 1987, the building is set to be revitalized into 51 market-rate apartments.

Historically, the Chelsea Rockwell building, constructed in 1909, served as a stove manufacturing warehouse and underwent various industrial uses over the decades. The redevelopment concept is projected to activate over 43,000 square feet of space, resulting in a total capital investment surpassing $8.8 million. Future tenants can anticipate various housing options, from studios to two-bedroom units. Renovations will encompass utilities, elevators, windows, doors, flooring, and roofing.

The almost $2 million grant comes on top of another $1.5 million state grant awarded to the project last year. Furthermore, as part of the rejuvenation plan, the building secured a $463,000 brownfield grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified