JACKSON, MI – The Lofts on Louis downtown Jackson development emerged after an unassuming meal at the Grand River Brewery.

Ryan Henry, co-founder of development and construction group Kincaid Henry, came to the brewery with a friend for a meal and casual conversation about development in the area.

When John Burtka asked about their conversation, he told Henry he wanted to talk.

Now, Kincaid Henry and Burtka’s Lofts on Louis are becoming a reality, with construction set to begin at 209 W. Louis Glick Highway next week. The groundbreaking ceremony was Friday afternoon, Nov. 4.

“John, you’re used to making ‘bubbly’ happen, and excitement and partying,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, who attended the event. “This will be a party, here. I applaud you.”

The four-story, 47,000-square-foot development is supposed to take about a year to complete. The $5.4 million project was helped by a $1.3 million performance-based loan from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Burtka and partner Detroit Entrepreneur Development LLC will also receive a nine-year property tax abatement from the city of Jackson.

Lofts on Louis development downtown receives nine-year property tax abatement

Lofts on Louis development downtown receives nine-year property tax abatement

The empty parcel at 209 W. Louis Glick Highway in downtown Jackson is another step closer to becoming a four-story urban grocery store and apartment complex.

“You have to have faith that this actually can happen,” Henry said.

All city council members had a shovel for the ceremonial dig Friday. Others at the event included Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe, MEDC representative Dominic Romano and State Rep. Earl Poleski.

“These are the types of things in local communities that drive our state,” Romano said. “We’re here to support this project.”

The Rev. Chas Canoy from St. John the Evangelist Catholic church blessed the property during the groundbreaking.

There’s already been great interest in the 18 two-bedroom units and 12 one-bedroom units – which will include granite countertops, nine-foot ceilings, stainless appliances, individual washers and dryers and more.

The four-story mixed-use development was proposed as a first-floor urban grocery along with the 30 apartment units.

Four-story 'urban grocery store,' apartment complex in the works for Jackson

Four-story ‘urban grocery store,’ apartment complex in the works for Jackson

A four-story, 44,000-square-foot mixed-use downtown Jackson development project is starting to gain traction. Kincaid Henry Building Group Inc. announced the plans on Facebook, which included a rendering of the prospective building.

Burtka will offer hard-hit tours through the development once the construction moves forward.

By Taylor DesOrmeau | tdesorme@mlive.com
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on November 05, 2016 at 10:30 AM, updated November 05, 2016 at 2:00 PM