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Old Posted Jul 9, 2009, 3:54 AM
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LMich LMich is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Big Mitten
Posts: 31,745
It's finally coming to pass:


GREG DeRuiter/Lansing State Journal

The City Club of Lansing is being torn down today in downtown Lansing to make way for the building of the Capitol Club Tower condos.

City Club razed in downtown Lansing

Melissa Domsic • • July 9, 2009 • From

The former City Club is no more after crews tore down the building in downtown Lansing to make way for a high-rise condominium project.

But it might be some time before the project rises from the rubble. Developer Shawn Elliott's planned Capitol Club Tower - consisting of 12 stories and a mezzanine - is on hold as he waits for financing.

"With the current banking environment, it's still going to be some time before we can get that going," Elliott said Wednesday as the City Club came down. "However, we're trying to make all steps of progress we can make, and this is one of those steps."

Clumps of white-painted bricks fell to the ground and gutters swung from the roof as a backhoe dug through the 1861 riverfront building Wednesday morning. The City Club, at 213 Grand Ave., was closed about six years ago due to problems with its roof, asbestos and the plumbing, electrical and heating systems.

Mayor Virg Bernero remembers attending meetings and dining at the club.

"There's a nostalgic part of me," he said. "Certainly, there are good memories there, but the reality is not every old building can be saved."

The building was so deteriorated that there weren't any historic characteristics to preserve, Elliott said.

The two-story structure should be completely razed by today. It could take up to 10 business days to remove the materials from the site, Elliott said, adding that he'll recycle as much as possible.

Demolition, site work and property abatement will cost about $50,000. Elliott already put about $4.5 million into the $20 million to $25 million project.

This spring, he started improvements expected to cost $300,000 to $400,000 to the South Grand Avenue parking ramp adjacent to the City Club. Elliott purchased the ramp from the city and will offer permit parking.

Another 40 or 50 permit parking spots will be temporarily available at the vacant City Club site until construction starts.

Elliott said he hopes to break ground this year on the condo project if the market stabilizes. The project, initially announced in 2007, was expected to be finished by 2011.

At one point, the developers thought an 18-story tower would be in order. They have since settled on 12 stories.

Between 40 and 60 of the high-end units are reserved for the 80-unit condominium tower, Elliott said. He returned several deposits because of the delay.

Extensive tax incentives will essentially free residents from most local and state taxes for 12 years. Developers also hope to obtain special private sector loan programs for residents.

That could make monthly mortgage payments for a $180,000 to $200,000 unit comparable to rent of $1,100 to $1,200. Condos will range from 700-square-foot, one-bedroom units to penthouses spanning 1,500 square feet or more, Elliott said.

A recent market study concluded the downtown needs at least 75 more condominium units, said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of the Lansing Economic Development Corp.

"Bringing new people to live in the city and to live in the downtown is a critical element to our overall economic development efforts," he said. "It's about jobs and a sense of place."

Capitol Club Tower is one of several development projects downtown.

Work continues on the new headquarters for Accident Fund Insurance Co. of America on Grand Avenue. And a building slated to be the new home for the Michigan State Police is nearing completion at Grand Avenue and Kalamazoo Street.
Where the trees are the right height

Last edited by LMich; Jul 10, 2009 at 8:50 AM.
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