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LMich Feb 4, 2009 9:18 AM

Looks like EV Performance Warehouse Inc. mentioned just above is searching for 150,000 of industrial space in the city. There hasn't been demand for that much area in a single building in quite some time:


Battery Technology Co. Looking for 148,000 Sq Ft Location in Lansing

Capital Gains, 2/4/2009

Manufacturer EV Performance Warehouse Inc. is looking at more than 148,000 square feet of space in the Lansing area for its new battery laboratory and assembly center.

“Most of the resources in the U.S. are based in Michigan for manufacturing of this type,” says EV Performance Warehouse Inc. President David Sterrett about deciding to bring the facility to Michigan.

EV Performance Warehouse Inc. will redevelop or construct a facility that will house the (LEVC) Lansing Electric Vehicle Center where all-electric and gas-electric hybrid products will be created.

“The assembly plant will most likely be on the Westside of town,” he says. Sterrett says they need at least a 100,000 square foot facility to accommodate production.

Sterrett adds that the company hopes to bring 70 direct jobs and a total of 500 direct and indirect jobs to the area in the next 12 to 24 months.

Source: David Sterrett, EV Performance Warehouse Inc.

Ivy Hughes, development news editor, can be reached here.

LMich Feb 7, 2009 3:48 AM

One of the more interesting buildings along the Square, if not the most interesting:

Matthew Dae Smith/For the Lansing State Journal

Renovation of Ranney Building completed

Jeremy W. Steele • • February 6, 2009 • From Lansing State Journal

Four years ago, it was as though a different building sat at 208 S. Washington Square.

The flat, argyle-pattern metal facade was an ode to the 1950s. The downtown Lansing building's three-story frame had no windows - or even a stairway to make the top floors usable.

Now, a nearly 3-1/2 year, $700,000 renovation of the historic structure - built in 1890 for George Ranney, a Lansing philanthropist and acclaimed doctor - has put the entire building back to use.

"People get excited when they come in here," said developer Shawn Elliott, who led the restoration. "It's an heirloom. It shouldn't be lost."

At only 24 feet wide, it might be easy to overlook the downtown building.

But it's only one of two surviving red stone Romanesque buildings in Lansing, historic preservation consultant Robert Morris wrote in a report for the city about its historical significance.

"The building itself is extremely significant," Morris said.

The architectural style is known for its use of arches, columns and towers. The other survivor is Central United Methodist Church at Capitol Avenue and Ottawa Street. Lansing's old post office and City Hall also were in the same style.

The Ranney Building's first 50 years were spent housing doctors' offices, including for Ranney, a decorated Civil War veteran who bought the lot in 1883 from the state.

The site and surrounding block previously had been home to the first Capitol building in Lansing.

Elliott and his crew began restoring the building in 2005, stripping the metal panels off the front.

Elliott was able to buy salvaged Lake Superior red sandstone from a razed YMCA building in Duluth, Minn., to repair the damaged facade. The original rock had been shipped to Lansing from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, via freighter and horses.

The interior - sealed in the 1920s when the stairwell to the second floor was removed - has been left largely intact. The names of the last doctors to work there remain on interior doors. Large oak pocket doors remained tucked neatly into the walls.

The oak woodwork just needed linseed oil polish, and the ornate porcelain floor tiles were cleaned and sealed.

"It's one of those things ... you hear about in an urban legend," Morris said. "It's extremely unusual."

Elliott said he originally hoped to find an office tenant who could take the upper floors of the building, fearing any other use might require the original floor plan to be divided. The first floor is home to a Menna's Joint restaurant.

But an office user never developed. Instead, Elliott, who owns several other downtown buildings, decided to turn the upper floors into loft apartments.

Work on those units recently wrapped up.

Unlike most other downtown lofts, each bedroom is rented individually. Each floor has five bedrooms and a central living and kitchen space. Rooms will rent for $500 to $600 each, Elliott said.

The layout allowed for the interior to remain largely in its original form.

"If you find something like this not all chopped up and destroyed, you owe it to the community to preserve it," Elliott said.

LMich Mar 4, 2009 6:34 AM

The [i]Ottawa and Butler[/b] residential project in downtown Lansing has been formally named and given a website. It's now known as Sobi Square, an acronym for the four streets that bind this block: Sycamore, Ottawa, Butler, and Ionia. It includes townhome buildings and multi-unit buildings.


Sobi Square


Site Plan:


LMich Mar 23, 2009 9:12 AM

The Society of Friends (Quakers) Red Cedar Meeting is coming along quite nicely on their new Meeting House they are putting up in Old Town Lansing:

And, the renovation of the Ottawa Street Station continues in earnest:

the urban politician Apr 5, 2009 3:57 AM

I was just in E. Lansing and Lansing the other day with my wife.

We went to a place called 'Insomnia Cookies'. The young lady working there told us that she doesn't have a car and lives downtown. She has two jobs (the second one being the mall). She said that the bus route along Grand River Ave is her LIFEBLOOD. She had nothing but very good things to say about that bus route, claiming that it was rated the best bus route in Michigan.

That goes to show you--even in America, a good transit system can be praised. After all, for the most part all we ever hear is complaints about transit from seemingly everybody in every city. Her feelings about her transit experience were great to hear. Moreover, I also observed that bus route and was impressed by the significant number of people using it and frequency of bus arrivals.

Just thought I'd share that..

LMich Apr 5, 2009 4:03 AM

The route you're talking about is CATA's more heavilyr-ridden, Route #1, and is the one route being studied to see if it could be converted to a light rail line. It can get crazy-busy as it connects the eastern suburb of Okemos with East Lansing and end in downtown Lansing.

the urban politician Apr 5, 2009 4:53 AM

^ Funny you mention that, because I was aware of that and actually told that young lady about the plan. She had no idea, but I told her to write to her Congressman/woman in support of it.

That's me, the transit crusader no matter where I go..

LMich Apr 5, 2009 5:10 AM

Along with the regularly scheduled buses along Route #1, CATA operates an "Entertainment Express" every Thursday thru Sunday from 7:30 PM to 2:30 AM that ferries bar hoppers to all of the bars and clubs along Michigan and Grand River avenues, as well as those in downtown Lansing and East Lansing, in a faux-trolley bus.

Mid-Michigan Apr 7, 2009 12:08 AM

Yeah know a resident of Okemos who's a downtown worker. She mention how she and others take the bus there and back to home.

LMich Apr 17, 2009 4:34 AM

Michigan State Police Quarters construction. Bare Grand Avenue will be getting a new streetscape this summer, finally.

Up the street Ottawa Street Station renovation. A new crane has arrived, onsite, to construct the addition

In between the Ottawa Street Station and MSP construction is the South Grand Parking Ramp that is to be upgraded in anticipation of the construction of the 12-story Capitol Club Tower that is to rise next door. The renovated ramp will include creeping vines and parking spots for bicycles.


Grand Ave. parking ramp to be greener

The owners of a downtown parking ramp want to make it a little greener.

Work is expected to begin in early May on about $350,000 in facade work to the South Grand Avenue parking ramp, which will replace some of its concrete shell and add living vines.

The ramp's owners also plan to add secured bicycle parking and locker room facilities to the structure - a nod to "green" commuters who might not otherwise have a place to park their wheels.


The ramp will include about 30 spaces for bikes, Elliott said. Those spaces could rent for less than $20 a month. Parking a car in the ramp costs between $99 and $130 a month.


Meanwhile, work on the parking ramp will continue and the old City Club building could come down in the next month, Elliott said.

LMich Apr 19, 2009 3:36 AM

Another yellow crane was added on the site of the Accident Fund renovation and construction since even the last one just a few days ago...

So, there are two, 300-foot yellow construction cranes that have joined the one, 300-foot renovation crane for the existing building.

LMich May 21, 2009 5:45 AM

Looks like some form of upgraded transit along Michigan Avenue may be closer than any Lansingite knows. It'd be something he we could have a hideous push for light-rail, but I'd settle for any improvements along the corridor:


Proposal beefs up transit on Michigan Avenue

Kathryn Prater • • May 20, 2009 • From Lansing State Journal

A recent federal funding proposal to improve transportation could result in advanced transit - such as bus lanes, bus boarding stations or light rail - along Michigan and Grand River avenues if it's approved later this year, said one local transportation official.


She said the project could draw economic activity to the corridor, especially if CATA creates boarding stations, where people could pay fares before boarding the bus. Those stations would draw large numbers of people, likely attracting businesses and other employment sites, such as entertainment venues, she said.

"Along these corridors there is great opportunity for economic development," Alexander said. "You're creating density when you do this, which draws economic development."
In other news, it looks like the construction of the new watefront city market will finally start construction by June 1:


Charlotte firm to build Lansing City Market

Susan Vela • • May 20, 2009 • From Lansing State Journal

Charlotte-based Kares Construction Co. is getting the opportunity to build the new year-round Lansing City Market slated to open around the start of 2010

Lansing Entertainment & Public Facilities Authority officials recently selected the company based on a bid that came in around $1.6 million.


However, "we're hoping by June 1, we'll be cracking the ground," Hart continued. "I just want this project to get going. I'm ready. The citizens are ready. We're excited about the project."


Plans are for a new 13,000-square-foot facility that will be situated just southwest of the market that's been at the corner of Cedar and Shiawassee streets since 1938.
The recession's reeking havoc all across the state, but it's good to see that that doesn't mean we just roll over and die. Speaking of the recession, though, it has changed some of the existing proposals for central Lansing:


Changes Made to $12 Million Sobi Square Downtown Project

Capital Gains, 5/20/2009

The developers planning the Sobi Square project in Downtown Lansing have changed the site plans to reflect changes in the housing market.

The $12 million project includes residential and mixed-use properties that encompasses Butler Blvd., Ionia St., Ottawa St. and Sycamore St. in Downtown Lansing.

The changes include adding a mixed-use building that would include retail, office space and living space. However, the first phase will include the construction of a 12-unit, 950 square feet to 1,175 square feet two and three-bedroom building on Ottawa Street.

The project, which resembles developer Gene Townsend’s Printer’s Row development, creates a community within the neighborhood.

“We received feedback that if this corner is improved, it may improve the whole region,” says developer Gene Townsend with The Lenawee Company. Old Town-based VESTA Building Industries is also a partner in the project.

The project includes large rain gardens, expansive green space, a recycling area, patios, a fountain, garden and hidden parking.

“I think this will be pretty exciting because the buildings will be very energy efficient,” Townsend says.

Rizzo May 21, 2009 6:35 AM


Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4178356)
I was just in E. Lansing and Lansing the other day with my wife.

We went to a place called 'Insomnia Cookies'. The young lady working there told us that she doesn't have a car and lives downtown. She has two jobs (the second one being the mall). She said that the bus route along Grand River Ave is her LIFEBLOOD. She had nothing but very good things to say about that bus route, claiming that it was rated the best bus route in Michigan.

I don't understand, can't she just move her business anywhere, or is that Insomnia location in a fixed structure? I was always under the impression they moved where the people went. Ours in Ann Arbor has 5 or so different locations depending on activity.

LMich May 21, 2009 6:43 AM

I don't know anything about Insomina besides that they have a storefront along Grand River Avenue. Actually, more speicifically, they have a storefront in the Stonehouse Village just off of Grand River:

Anyway, as urb pointed to, her other job is at the Meridian Mall (at the eastern end of Route #1).

the urban politician May 21, 2009 3:30 PM

^ Yeah, being that it had been about a decade since I last visited E Lansing, I was surprised by all of the changes, such as the new buildings like the one pictured above. Are there any plans to replace the old Taco Bell just across the street from the new one, because right now it's a vacant eyesore.

LMich May 22, 2009 4:24 AM

It's just recently gone vacant, again. Places move in and move out. Hopefully, it's demoed soon given that whatever goes up will most definitely be better than the building. That said, even vacant, I'd not call it an eyesore. The building is still in very good shape, they keep the outside clean, and it's not been vandalized.

the urban politician May 22, 2009 3:12 PM

^ Yeah, I guess--my problem with some of those stand alone Taco Bell buildings is that they forever have this "we used to be a Taco Bell" look to them. Starting from scratch would be a lot better

subterranean May 24, 2009 12:25 AM


Originally Posted by LMich (Post 4200361)
Michigan State Police Quarters construction. Bare Grand Avenue will be getting a new streetscape this summer, finally.

For a police station, in Lansing, Michigan, I think this has turned out quite nice. Grand Avenue is going to be a hopping place in a couple years.

On a side note, I can see the work going on at Accident Fund from my office window. It seems things have really picked up in the last few weeks.

LMich May 24, 2009 2:31 AM

It's going to be more of an administrative headquarters for the MSP than anything else. Unlike their current location on Harrison Road, this won't have a helipad or many other practical features for the MSP. All of that's going to be decentralized, I hear.

I'm still waiting to see what kind of gate/wall they end up putting around it. I just hope that it doesn't make it look too much like the compound they designed it to be. But, yeah, as for the architecture, it's pretty classy looking. They designed it so that it would give an architectural nod to the existing headquarters on Harrison Road.

LMich Jun 4, 2009 4:12 AM

Rendering of the new boardwalk going up on the eastside of the Grand River between Shiawassee and Michigan courtesy of Lansing Area Capital Gains:

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