Developed by Woda Cooper Cos., Osborn Commons is the first LEED Gold development in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
Jay London Photography Developed by Woda Cooper Cos., Osborn Commons is the first LEED Gold development in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Osborn Commons, a new 65-unit mixed-income housing community in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, has been certified LEED Gold, announced developer Woda Cooper Cos.

“With the city of Sault Ste. Marie being a premier outdoor vacation destination, we are keenly aware of the economic importance of maintaining the health and well-being of our natural surroundings,” said mayor Don Gerrie. “We were gratified to receive news that Osborn Commons has been recognized as meeting the LEED Gold standards, making it the first building in our city to receive that honor.”

The new development provides one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments with 63 units available for individuals, seniors, and families earning 30% to 80% of the area median income, plus two additional units available at market rate. The apartments offer open-concept living spaces with large energy-efficient windows, high-quality finishes, and kitchens with Energy Star appliances, including dishwashers. Each unit has a high-efficiency HVAC system and washer/dryer hookups.

Indoor and outdoor common areas include a fitness center, common laundry, two community rooms with kitchenettes, and an outdoor patio overlooking the historic Soo Locks. There are seven units with features for those with disabilities, and the entire property is visitable. At street level, there is a grassy play area with picnic tables and 81 off-street parking spaces.

“Osborn Commons brings more housing to downtown Sault Ste. Marie, including affordable and market-rate housing, in a fantastic energy-efficient development that bridges the Soo Locks area with the rest of downtown,” said Craig Patterson, Woda Cooper Cos.’ senior vice president of development. “The vision for Osborn Commons started with a comprehensive state placemaking initiative led by the Michigan Municipal League and Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to transform Sault Ste. Marie’s underutilized Moloney Alley into a vibrant live/work/play environment poised for further development.”

The development is also home to the new Market on Osborn, a 2,000-square-foot retail store that sells groceries, specialty foods, and other convenience items, and eliminates the neighborhood’s longtime food desert. In addition to the store’s main entrance, a lobby window allows residents in Osborn Commons to make purchases without having to go outdoors.

Funding for the $14 million development was supported by federal low-income housing tax credits allocated by MSHDA with equity financing by CREA. Osborn Commons also received a mortgage from Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust and a construction loan from Merchants Capital.

The architect was Hooker DeJong, with sustainability consulting by Sol Consulting + Design. Woda Cooper’s construction division was general contractor.