News Photo by Mike Gonzalez
A large container with debris is parked outside the former school, Bingham Academy, on Monday. On Friday, a real estate deal on the school was finally closed, making it official property for Hope Network, and will soon become a senior apartment complex in 2025.
ALPENA — The former school, Bingham School, on 5th Avenue, was purchased by the non-profit organization Hope Network on Friday for $312,000 and will be redeveloped into an apartment complex for senior residents by April 2025.
Dr. Dave Dargis, the seller of Bingham School, and Banner Realty Owner Margie Haaxma tried to sell the property to Hope Network, a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities and disadvantages, four years ago.
Dargis said that things were going well with the purchase until the COVID-19 pandemic started and inflated material prices.
Because of the inflated prices and a lack of contractors around at that time, Hope Network waited on buying the former school property until markets became more stable.
Soon after Hope Network purchased the property on Friday, development began to turn the school into a 35-unit senior apartment complex for residents 55 years old or older.
Anthony Barker, executive director of housing and community development at Hope Network, said that he’s excited to bring the complex into Alpena and hopes to open doors in April 2025.
“The apartments will be a great asset for Alpena,” Barker said. “We hope to serve the area and its older population with this senior living space. It’s a projected 14-month development, so it’s looking like things will be ready by the first of April (2025).”
Barker said that the renovated complex will hold 26 one-bedroom apartments and 9 two-bedroom apartments.
The school-turned-apartment is also listed as a historic property by the National Park Service, so all of the floors and hallways of Bingham School will stay preserved as they are.
Barker also said that marketing for apartments will come up around September, but that a website with more information about the property will go online within the next few months.