Work has begun on a senior living community in Madison Heights, set to open in 2022. Once completed, the complex will feature more than 130 units and a variety of amenities including a spa, art studios and more.

Work has begun on a senior living community in Madison Heights, set to open in 2022. Once completed, the complex will feature more than 130 units and a variety of amenities including a spa, art studios and more.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Work begins on new senior living community

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published July 28, 2021


MADISON HEIGHTS — City officials in Madison Heights recently marked the groundbreaking for a major new senior living community, named The Reserve at Red Run.

The event was July 13 and represented the start of the development spanning several parcels. The address is 30031 Dequindre Road. The anticipated opening is 2022.

“(The Reserve) fills a housing need that is currently missing from the city: luxury senior living,” said Madison Heights City Manager Melissa Marsh. “The development increases the taxable value for those parcels, and provides more customers for local businesses.”  

Cypress Partners, based in Birmingham, and Parallel Management Group, based in Northville, planned the project, the construction of which is being overseen by Cunningham-Limp, based in Novi, with interior design led by award-winning Patrick Thompson Design, of Detroit.

The community will feature 133 residences, with one- and two-bedroom floor plans, as well as amenities including a wellness spa, cafe, chef-created dining options, an art studio and more. It will offer social and educational programming year-round, catering to both active, independent seniors and those looking for supportive services.

While it is coming together now, it was a bit of a winding road to reach this point. The project proposal first came before the Madison Heights City Council prior to the pandemic, in 2019. The pitch back then was described as a 120-unit housing development with affordable options for moderate- and low-income individuals, offering a luxury senior living experience spanning three parcels at 30021, 30031 and 30071 Dequindre Road.

But first, the council considered the approval of an ordinance to allow an arrangement called Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOT, pending the state’s approval. It was a deal that ultimately fell through.

PILOT replaces normal property taxes for qualifying developments in accordance with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, or MSHDA. It’s an annual service charge to be paid by housing classes exempt from taxation under the MSHDA Act of 1966, at a rate lower than the property owner would pay if taxed normally.

For the deal with Cypress Partners, the proposed rate was 4% of rent for low-income units, minus the cost of utilities, for a term of 40 years, as required by MSHDA. PILOT would’ve taken effect with approval from MSHDA once 42% of the units are occupied by moderate- or low-income tenants.

There were also additional agreements tied to this that the council considered in 2019, including an annual $25,000 emergency services fee and a lump-sum $100,000 emergency services payment that would offset the anticipated increase in emergency medical runs to a senior community.

However, in the end the state did not approve the PILOT plan, so these proposals were revoked and the development ultimately proceeded under a traditional tax structure.

“I’m excited to have this redevelopment in our city, but I’m sad that the PILOT program we approved to allow for low-income residents to enjoy these facilities wasn’t approved by the state,” said Madison Heights City Councilman Mark Bliss, in an email. “It could have been a grand slam for our residents, but it’s still a really nice addition to our city. As it is with many of our recent redevelopment successes like Woodpile BBQ, BJ’s, Cadillac Straits Brewery and more, it fills a need for our residents, and brings jobs and millions of dollars of investment into our community.”

Madison Heights City Councilman Robert Corbett said the Reserve is a fitting development.

“This helps us fill a gap in our current housing inventory. The growth in the senior citizen housing market has grown exponentially over the past several decades, and this definitely helps us to plug that gap, and provide a convenient and state-of-the-art facility for older residents who require slight to moderate assistance with their day-to-day living needs,” Corbett said in an email.

“Back in the 1970s, Madison Heights led the way with the Solberg Towers and Madison Towers at 11 Mile and Dequindre roads. They were state-of-the-art and largely self-contained communities, and they reflected some of the best thinking at the time in terms of structuring and accommodating senior housing requirements,” he said. “But now with improvements in the medical and rehabilitation services available, a more nuanced array of in-home services is demanded by the marketplace.”

Madison Heights Mayor Roslyn Grafstein said the development is already generating buzz.

“While we have residents in our community who are looking for subsidized or tiered rent, we also have many residents in the city and surrounding area who are inquiring about moving into this new 133-unit complex,” Grafstein said in an email. “As our demographics change, I continue to reach out to developers to see who we can partner with to bring in new housing. The Planning Commission is reviewing and revising ordinance for council approval, and ordinances are slowly being updated to allow for more flexibility requested by both our young families just starting out, and our older residents looking to downsize.”