Latest Proposal Could Fill Gaping Hole in Dexter’s Housing Market


Conceptual rendering of proposed attainable housing initiative. The white silhouettes to the right would be Grandview Commons. Image: O|X Studio Inc. from the city council meeting packet.

Many have voiced concern over the high price of housing in Dexter. An idea has come forth that may address that issue.

The City of Dexter met with developers last month to review and discuss a concept for an attainable housing development on Grand St. between Forest Lawn Cemetery and Grandview Commons.

Proposed for the 2.2-acre plot are 76 apartments in two 3-story buildings. Three different unit layouts would be offered - 30 efficiency (600 sq ft), 30 one-bedroom (800 sq ft), and 16 two-bedroom (1,200 sq ft).

Proposed site on Grand Street for the concept. Photo by Doug Marrin

Realtor Mike Penn of the MORE Group in Dexter is part of the development team for the concept.

“We’re trying to target that middle segment of attainable housing,” says Penn. “A lot of programs support affordable housing, but very few support that middle group.”

If the concept came to fruition, it could be a step in the right direction for what many people have been calling for in recent years – attainable housing in Dexter. Penn is a Dexter resident himself and is working with a group of Dexter area developers hoping to fill in that missing piece in their town.

“Attainable housing” is affordable to those earning around the Area Median Income (AMI). The goal is that households earning between 80% and 120% of the AMI wouldn’t need to spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs.

For comparison, affordable housing is for households earning between 30% and 80% of the AMI. Market rate housing is 120% and higher.

Image courtesy of Mike Penn

“We think for a community to be healthy, you need to have a diverse mix of housing types, not just high end with some low end,” says Penn. “You’ve got to have everything in between. We are all local people working on this with no intention of ever leaving. We want to see Dexter thrive.”

In her report to the City Council, Community Development Manager Michelle Aniol said of the preliminary meeting, “Overall, the concept was well received, with minor concerns, such as, first floor units having an entrance facing Grand Street and the pathway between the subject site and Grandview Commons, and providing elevators.”

No firm plans have been submitted yet. The city continues to work with developers on the feasibility of the initiative.

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