Hollander Development Announced as the Certified Green Building Award Winner for Multifamily

The U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan (USGBC-WM) announced Hollander Development at the Certified Green Building Award Winner for Multifamily for their project The Creamery. The Certified Green Building Awards recognize exemplary building projects that received high-performance certifications.

Hollander Development began this project in 2010 with the purpose of redeveloping a portion of the Portage Street Corridor in Kalamazoo, a historic neighborhood and an area of concentrated poverty, red lining, and racial segregation. The $14.7 million project created affordable and workforce housing, and commercial space inhabited by a local business to develop community vibrancy, all in collaboration with the surrounding neighborhood and the City of Kalamazoo. 

The initial goal of the project was to remove a blighted former industrial site and develop the space into neighborhood scale commercial and residential. The City of Kalamazoo had already demolished the area by the time Hollander Development took over and it was ready for construction. They conducted a neighborhood survey to determine what the community would like to see in the former brewery and creamery operation (hence the name) location. Kalamazoo went through a community design process and came up with a mixed-use development that included some workforce housing and some commercial, and Hollander Development took it from there. Hollander Development partnered with WYCA Kalamazoo to create Michigan’s first comprehensive early childhood learning center that includes first, second, and third shift twenty-four hour drop off day care services. They created 48 one- and two-bedroom apartments, 39 of which are affordable housing and other 9 workforce housing, which are apartments that are affordable to people in moderate income households. They then developed neighborhood commercial. Within the building is a dance pilates fitness and arts studio owned by a local married couple - their first brick and mortar location. The original second commercial plan was to put in a family restaurant but the global pandemic hit during that time and it was determined a restaurant was not going to work. Hollander Development then moved their corporate office into the building, and additionally are still developing a neighborhood co-working space and trying to create an incubator for community development projects. The Creamery exists as one of the first multifamily projects in the state that is nearly fully electrified and net zero ready. There is virtually no gas aside from one line as backup in the case of freezing temperatures. 

Hollander Development is a legacy affordable housing development firm, established in 1979. “This is what we do,” said President of Hollander Development Matt Hollander. The affordable housing fundamentals of this project were the same as their other projects, though they stepped into a welcome but out of care role in implementing the childcare and commercial spaces. They historically have put a lot of importance on high performance building and sustainable construction in their projects, with this being their 4th LEED Certified building, though the first LEED Platinum Certification for the company. “This means we’re on the right track and it means keep pushing,” said Matt Hollander when asked what it means to win a Leadership Award with USGBC-WM. 

The USGBC-WM Leadership Awards promote outstanding green building initiatives by recognizing projects, organizations, and people who have made extraordinary contributions to achieving healthy, energy-efficient green buildings in the state of Michigan.

“Our built environment should be a conduit to our wellness and vitality. In most cases, an employer's largest operating cost is its people,” said Cheri Holman, Executive Director of USGBC-WM. “Investing in those people by providing them with an indoor environment that is safe, comfortable, and inspiring is a key way to attract and retain a flourishing workforce.”

Hollander Development and The Creamery project were honored at our 2022 Annual Party & Leadership Awards Ceremony on December 8, 2022. Hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan, the evening event was held in the Ballroom at the LEED-certified CityFlatsHotel located in downtown Grand Rapids. The program included a keynote address by Jeremy Orr, Director of Litigation and Advocacy Partnerships for Earthjustice, an Awards Ceremony, and the introduction of our new Board of Directors nominees.  

To learn more about their accomplishments and to read our 2022 Annual Report visit our Annual Party & Leadership Awards Ceremony page.