Lofts Rendering

“Lofty” Security Solutions for New Housing Projects

After wowing a Michigan-based affordable housing developer with above-and-beyond solutions for building access and security, Windemuller was asked to provide similar solutions for the organization’s other projects around the state of Michigan.

Overview

In June 2019, Windemuller landed a contract with Michigan Community Capital (MCC) to help bring a brand-new affordable housing development to fruition in the northern Michigan city of Cadillac. MCC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Lansing that works in communities across Michigan “to counter gentrification and create upward mobility and wealth-building opportunities for underserved individuals and families in Michigan.” One of the ways MCC accomplishes that aim is by developing affordable housing projects, which offer monthly rental rates below what is typically available in the areas in question.

The June 2019 project was a new development called Cadillac Lofts, which brought more than 80 brand-new, affordably-priced residential units to the Cadillac housing market. Windemuller played a significant role in that project, providing a design-build electrical system, fire alarm system, communication system, and card access/security system.

Windemuller’s contract on that project was initially meant to be a one-off. However, MCC was so impressed by the work our team did—particularly in the card access/security space—that they asked us to provide those services for other projects they had in the works around Michigan.

The Projects

Cadillac Lofts is just one of the “Lofts” projects that MCC has undertaken throughout Michigan. Windemuller’s work on the project led to subsequent contracts to assist with the organization’s future Lofts builds, including Broadway Lofts (in Mt. Pleasant), Temple Lofts (in Lansing), Row Lofts (in Ludington), and Sawmill Lofts (in Grayling). MCC has also asked us to go into some of their existing developments to implement these card access systems retroactively.

The Value Proposition

While Windemuller provided a variety of services on the Cadillac Lofts project, the one that most caught MCC’s eye was our card access system. The system was deemed by the MCC team to be extremely user-friendly and easy to implement and manage.

The system at Cadillac Lofts worked so well for MCC and its property managers and residents that the organization opted to bring Windemuller in for additional projects. And thanks to our size and reach as a business—with branch offices dotted across Michigan—we were able to respond to that call and provide services at multiple project site locations around the state.

Working with Windemuller across several Lofts projects will provide another benefit for MCC, too. We have been able to tie all the card access systems at each Lofts location together so that they can be managed through the same system. While individual property managers at each spot can be given permissions for just their properties, MCC also has the top-down option to monitor and manage the security and access of all their Lofts locations from a single online tool.

Finally, Windemuller recently ported the card access systems over to the cloud, to provide redundancy and to minimize the risk of downtime. Most systems of this type are based on a server at a specific site, which can render the systems vulnerable to outages—especially if multiple buildings are tied back to a server located in, say, Cadillac. In that case, if Cadillac Lofts were to lose power, or if the server went down for any other reason, the card access systems at the other locations would be affected as well. By hosting everything on the cloud, we prevent this risk.

Windemuller’s holistic view of these projects has brought new efficiencies to the table for MCC. By tying the Lofts sites together, the client can now see all their cameras, access control systems, phones, and other technological assets under one pane of glass weather premise or cloud based. Windemuller has also helped to standardize the systems and equipment MCC is using at each facility, which will allow the client to simplify training of its personnel in the future and make costs more predictable for additional Lofts projects. Since Windemuller is a statewide business with office locations throughout Michigan, we can be there as a partner in the future as MCC plots new housing projects.

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