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subterranean Dec 10, 2018 7:32 PM

I don't really care about the conversion, but student ghetto? I lived in that area in 06/07 and some of the nicest student apartments are there, with several new medium size complexes with nice amenities (3 new buildings on Louis Street alone). Between Frandor and Beal St. is one of the nicest neighborhoods East Lansing has to offer. Strange characterization. On campus, the area centered around Cedar Village was always typified as the student ghetto, or even up in Bath.

LMich Dec 11, 2018 10:38 AM

A small development, but Frandor-based Bake 'N Cakes chose a little non-descript buildings in southwest Lansing. It opened last month on MLK near Miller. It was really kind of surprising they chose this particular area given that there are definitely distressed parts.

They took advantage of the Corridor Facade Program, which is a seperate program for the facade improvement program for downtown. I'd like to see the city push this one harder and see more businesses reach out. The Corridor Facade Program offers three different levels of grants, the first being a small grant for the development of renderings and designs/signage, a micro-facade grant for small improvements to facades like such as painting projects, lighting, door/window repairs, etc., and then full facade grants, which includes full reconstructions and redesigns and such. Each of these are 50% matches.

LMich Jan 2, 2019 8:05 AM

Lots of news, last month:

Park Place has been formally proposed for just west of Park District. It's size has been increased with each building being 14 stories.

Developers pitch 14-story buildings for the site of Dublin Square in East Lansing


EAST LANSING — Two additional high rises could crop up on the western edge of downtown East Lansing.

Okemos-based Vlahakis Companies and Royal Properties of Champaign, Illinois, submitted plans to the city this week for two 14-story buildingsnear the corner of Abbot Road and Albert Avenue. The project is expected to cost $155 million.
New specs:


The developers are proposing a 14-story building at the corner of Abbot Road and Albert Avenue, on the current site of Dublin Square. Dublin Square owner and developer Paul Vlahakis said the restaurant would be reincorporated into the new building.

The second building would be adjacent to the first along Evergreen Avenue and would stair step between 10 and 14 stories, with the shorter side of the building facing Valley Court Park.

Together, the buildings will have 80 condominiums, 450 parking spaces, 410 market-rate apartments, a 34,000-square-foot movie theater, 24,000 square feet of office space and 25,000 square feet of retail space.
They are still planning a theater and the parking will still be automated.

Park District began construction staging a week or two ago:

McLaren Greater Lansing broke ground on their new hospital campus on the 17th, and we got a new rendering:


The $450 million hospital will be affiliated with Michigan State University and include 250 beds and other facilities. They are planning for a 2022 opening. Site work started on the 12th. The design has been value engineered a bit.

Center City - December 26
Landmark on Grand River

The Capitol Visitor Center has been reimagined as Heritage Hall, and finally got the funding it's been searching for for over two years.

$40M for Capitol visitor center approved in supplemental budget


LANSING — Funding for a new, multi-million dollar auditorium and conference center on the state Capitol grounds was approved Friday.

Advocates say the project, called Heritage Hall, would create space for large events, provide safer Capitol access for tour groups and would increase tourism in downtown Lansing.

The Michigan State Capitol Commission will get $40 million for its Heritage Hall project, thanks to Gov. Rick Snyder's signature of a $1.3 billion supplemental budget approved by the legislature in late December.


Heritage Hall plans call for building a 54,000 square-foot facility on the Capitol grounds' west lawn. The building would largely be underground and connected to the Capitol through a tunnel.

The hall could host educational exhibits, provide a safe bus stop for school field trips, space for receptions and other catered events, Randall said. Plans also call for an auditorium that could be used for conferences, presentations and large committee hearings.

Designers' goal is to be able to seat about 600 people in the auditorium, enough for a State of the State-sized crowd, Blackshaw said.

LMich Jan 4, 2019 10:27 AM

Not all that urban a development, but this one came out of nowhere. A development that did not require a rezoning or any kind of incentives is going up at 1921 West Holmes west of Logan Square on the southside. It's a three building project consisting of 30 townhomes around a central parking courtyard.

What makes it notable aside from its location where you don't see a lot of new development is that this is on a 2 acres parcel in the middle of the city that held a single family home. The lots in this area are kind of peculiar and point to them likely having been grandfathered in, since all but this one are zoned for single family homes despite being anywhere from a bit over 600 feet deep to over 1,300 feet in depth. Very obviously in the middle of a city these kind of dimensions waste A LOT of space.

The lot this is being built on is the widest and the only one zoned for multi-family. Everything to the east will have to eventually be combined and rezoned if they want to increase density, because the current zoning and widths of the other lots preclude multi-family housing. The city never ran streets through area to intersect with Holmes, so what you've got a mess of different land uses and density.

Ex-Ithacan Jan 5, 2019 12:11 AM

^^ Post #1003, wow. Some great changes going on.

LMich Jan 9, 2019 10:57 AM

In something of a surprise, someone on city council is proposing and overlay district that would increase the maximum heights for buildings in the city 20 feet to a total of 160 feet.

There was a proposal working its way through council a month or two ago that would have upzoned the western end of downtown. I guess the city is getting tired of trying to micro-manage height and have just proposed an even 160 feet for most of the downtown area. Basically, the city has had a very strict 140-foot maximum for decades, as they wanted to preserve their "small town" feel, and getting to that 140-foot maximum was only permitted in a section of downtown and then only then a special use permit. This basically had the effect of pushing development to the sprawling Northern Tier north of town.

Finally noticing the incredible demand for downtown living, it looks like the council is slowly opening up to more density in the downtown area, and seem to have agreed that 140 feet is too limiting. I will be interested to see who proposed this and if it ends up being controversial. The 160-foot overlay is still 20 feet lower than the max of 180 feet in Ann Arbor, though.

LMich Jan 9, 2019 11:10 AM

Speaking of height increases, we finally get a look at the preliminary site plan for Park Place...

...and in a surprise, they are proposing the tallest building to be 186 feet to the penthouse roof, and 176 feet to the main roof. This would require a variance even with the passing of the height overlay. It would have 14 main roofs with a 15th floor clubhouse and roof-top deck. The shorter building will be 125 feet to its main roof with 12 floors.

LMich Jan 10, 2019 12:15 PM

I kind of vaguely remember them announcing they had been doing interior renovation on this last year, but then forgot about it.

19 years after fire, Oliver Towers could reopen by the end of 2019


LANSING — Before the end of the year, people could call Oliver Towers in downtown Lansing home.

It would be the first time in nearly two decades.

The eight-story building at 310 N. Seymour Ave., which was damaged by a fire in 2000, is set reopen in November or December.

Mark Clouse, general counsel for the Eyde Company, which purchased the property in late 2015, said the developers have spent the last year working on interior tear-out and environmental remediation.

“The major focus has really been, for the last 12 months ... just getting the building ready for construction," he said.

Of the 96 apartments in the building, eight have two bedrooms, Clouse said. Most of the apartments will be one bedrooms ranging between 450 and 600 square feet. The project will also include 4,500 square feet of retail space.

The project, along with the under-construction Metro Place development on the former downtown YMCA site, could bring hundreds of additional residents to the downtown.
And a before and after of the "Under the Bridge" project that took place last year beneath US-127 over Michigan Avenue:

LMich Jan 15, 2019 10:07 AM

With the new year, we're getting some new renderings of Newman Lofts at City Center.

Library: This will include individual work stations and conference rooms.


Community kitchen (6th floor): It will be a full kitchen and dining room for residents. It will also be used for traveling chef's who will teach cooking classes.


Down the street at The Hub on January 12 at Grand River and Bogue:


LMich Jan 18, 2019 12:32 PM

Big news that seemingly came out of nowhere. Because of the huge supplemental budget passed last month, we're kind of still finding out what was in it. Apparently, there was money in it for Lansing to change most of its major one-way streets in the central business district to two-way. The city had planned this, but never had the money. Anyway, this will be completed next year.
Nick King | LSJ

Lansing plans to convert some one-way streets for two-way traffic


LANSING — Beginning next year, pedestrians will have to look both ways when crossing a bevy of downtown Lansing streets.

The city plans to convert six one-way streets to two-way traffic.

Lansing officials anticipate the change will take effect in mid-2020, although a date for the transition has not yet been set.

Lansing switched a number of roads from two-way to one-way during the 1960s.

In 1999, the city reverted Shiawassee, Ionia and Washtenaw streets from one-way to two-way traffic. In the ensuing decades, city officials discussed changing more streets, but funding was a challenge, Kilpatrick said.

The city received $3.3 million from the state this year for converting one-way streets. That includes the cost of installing new traffic signals.


Upcoming two-way streets

Lansing plans to switch the following roads from one-way to two-way.
  • Grand Avenue between Malcolm X Street and Oakland Avenue
  • Capitol Avenue between Malcolm X Street and Oakland Avenue
  • Walnut Street between Malcolm X Street and Oakland Avenue
  • Pine Street between Malcolm X Street and Oakland Avenue
  • Ottawa Street between Grand Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
  • Allegan Street between Grand Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

This should really make things better for both pedestrians and drivers. It's definitely going to slow down cars that treat parts of the Capitol Loop, especially, like race courses.

deja vu Jan 18, 2019 2:27 PM

Very cool. Maybe Kalamazoo will watch and learn! (the city is all about it, but a lot of residents are agitated).

Remind me - how many floors will The Hub have?

LMich Jan 18, 2019 3:00 PM

10 floors. Because of the 140-foot height limit, everything is running between 10 to 13 stories with the difference being how tall the ground floors and second stories are in any individual project. In the case of The Hub, too, is that it's using its roof as an amenities deck and the ground floor has a mezzanine level, so it's really 12 floors in function.



LMich Jan 23, 2019 10:38 AM

Site prep began yesterday on 600 East Michigan. Photo from the Gillespie Group:




The riverfront plaza outside of the old City Market has been officially renamed Rotary Park:

The activiation of this site will began construction in the spring and be completed by the fall.

LMich Jan 25, 2019 9:32 AM

We get a preview of CATA's new Nova buses coming this spring:

Final pour took place a few days ago on the last parking garage level on Newman Lofts:

This view, unfortunately, will soon be blocked by the towers of Park District.

LMich Jan 29, 2019 11:50 AM

According to this week's city council agenda, it appears that the plan to turn the old North Larch BWL Substation (1609 North Larch) into 5 apartments got a special January 22nd planning board meeting after it was introduced at their January 15th meeting. At the previous meeting, the zoning office recommended to the planning board that the special use permit be denied. However, it seems that by the January 22nd meeting, the zoning office changed it's mind writing a new staff report and the the planning board recommended unanimously that the special land use permit be approved.

In any case, this now it goes through the typical council process. The building will include 1 one-bedroom apartment in the basement, 1 one-bedroom and 1 two-bedroom apartment on the ground floor, and 2 two-bedroom apartments on the 2nd floor. The one-bedroom units will be 700 square feet, and the two-bedroom units will be 950 square feet.

LMich Feb 6, 2019 11:13 AM

A different view of The Hub from yesterday:
Steve Japinga

It's feeling like the two-floor McDonald's may be living on borrowed time if this portends the ultimate fate of East/Cedar Village. BTW, it seems that construction has been delayed on Park District at the other end of downtown after some new renderings were dug up showing a design that differed from the site plans. Apparently, there was more brick and less glass than shown on the original renderings and the site plan which really seemed to have bothered some on council. The zoning code says that whatever's built has to substantially follow what's in the site plans, and now there is some debate over what substantial means.

LMich Feb 11, 2019 10:44 AM

A first look at the dual-brand hotel going up at as part of the Red Cedar Renaissance project on the border of Lansing with East Lansing. The building will include a full-service Hyatt Centric on the east and a extended-stay residential Hyatt House on the west:

Nothing specially architecturally, but it will be nice to have a nice hotel in the Frandor area. The rest of the project includes at least 200 market-rate residential units (including a senior village), 1,200 beds of student living space, retail and restaurant space, and a public park and amphitheatre actually taking up most of the site.

CDENT Feb 11, 2019 2:53 PM


Originally Posted by LMich (Post 8469177)
A first look at the dual-brand hotel going up at as part of the Red Cedar Renaissance project on the border of Lansing with East Lansing. The building will include a full-service Hyatt Centric on the east and a extended-stay residential Hyatt House on the west:

Nothing specially architecturally, but it will be nice to have a nice hotel in the Frandor area. The rest of the project includes at least 200 market-rate residential units (including a senior village), 1,200 beds of student living space, retail and restaurant space, and a public park and amphitheatre actually taking up most of the site.

Is there an article that accompanied this image release?

LMich Feb 12, 2019 1:16 PM


Some updates from yesterday:

The Hub


Park District

So I'm guessing Park District is under construction, now?

LMich Feb 18, 2019 6:22 PM

Well, it looks like the developer was in fact able to work out the issue the city had with their site plan. From late January:

DRW Convexity Project at Blighted Corner Is Back On Track


DRW Convexity's project for East Lansing’s long-blighted vacant downtown corner is back on track.

Two weeks ago, ELi broke the story that the major redevelopment project by DRW Convexity had been put on hold because the developers submitted plans for building permits that didn’t match what City Council had approved.

East Lansing Director of Planning Tim Dempsey told ELi today that now the developers have submitted a new set of plans aimed at matching what Council approved. Planning staff is reviewing them now, and is not anticipating any additional major problems.

In the meantime, foundation permits for the project’s biggest building have been approved. Excavation has started on the corner lot at Abbot Road and Grand River Avenue.

The excavators working there recently found some unexpected old foundation, so that’s caused a bit of an unexpected delay, but it’s all expected to still be basically on schedule.

A major electrical trunk line owned by the Lansing Board of Water and Light (BWL) runs underground where the new 13-story building is set to be constructed. That line, which serves most of downtown, has to be moved as part of this project.
And according to the city website, the start of piling drilling (110 of them) starts today. Anyway, here are the updated renderings from the developer:

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