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  #1041  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2019, 2:00 PM
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The local paper picked up on the height limit increase in East Lansing. It's a rather detailed story about an issue that's been roiling the city as developers are beating down the door to get in downtown. The planning commission actually strongly recommended denial of the increase in a 1-7 vote, and the downtown development authority only marginally recommended approval, so the city council vote wasn't looking good until it actually happened.

How tall is too tall for downtown East Lansing?

Quote:
EAST LANSING — East Lansing's growth spurt might not be over.

The East Lansing City Council approved an ordinance last week on a 3-2 vote that allows for an additional 20 feet of height on some buildings along Grand River Avenue .

The decision bumped height limits in parts of downtown to 160 feet, about 14 stories. That means future developments could be two stories taller than the tallest building currently under construction downtown.

“I’m comfortable with 160 feet because I'm comfortable with 140 feet," East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows said.

The ordinance makes downtown more flexible for future growth, he said.
Photos from the story:

Looking west down Grand River with the Landmark in the background



Looking southeast with the Hub in the background



Looking east down Abbot along the ground floor of Newman Lofts



Looking northwest over downtown at the Landmark (left) and New Lofts (right)

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  #1042  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2019, 11:30 AM
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Back in Lansing...

Michigan School for the Blind restoration project on pace to finish in 2020

Quote:
LANSING — Historic buildings on the 40-acre campus where the Michigan School for the Blind operated for 114 years are on pace to be restored and reopened as housing by early 2020.

Indianapolis-based TWG Development has moved on to the second and third phases of its $24.4 million plan to create 132 housing units at West Willow and North Pine streets in the city's Walnut Neighborhood.

Crews are focused on the former school's administration building, known as The Abigail or "Old Main," and its adjacent former high school, said Adam Kniola, TWG's project manager.
Specs:

Quote:
Plans for a renovated administration building call for 42 units of senior housing — 22 two-bedroom units and 20 one-bedroom units — and 62 parking spots.

There will also be community and amenity space.

The former high school will contain 18 units of senior housing: nine one-bedroom units and nine two-bedroom units. It will have 25 parking spots.

Restoration work on both buildings, including limestone cleaning and window installation, is expected to be complete by June, Kniola said.
Photos from the LSJ: https://twitter.com/EricLacy/status/1115687004703023104

The Abigail:





The high school



The completed Walnut Park Apartments (new construction, 72 units):

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  #1043  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2019, 9:46 AM
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View from the top of the Hub's rooftop deck. This is going to be something else.





https://www.instagram.com/p/BwSuYtKl_ql/
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  #1044  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2019, 7:56 AM
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^Those are some great views
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  #1045  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2019, 10:44 AM
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Census figures out yesterday point toward the core city estimates coming in July posting some pretty impressive gains. Lansing MSA's 2017 population estimate was revised upward over 3,000 people with the 2018 estimate hitting 481,893. That puts the metro up almost 18,000 since the last Census, or already the fastest growth for the tri-county area since the 1970's.

The area added Shiawassee County this year, however, so the growth isn't going to look quite as impressive next year. In the rest of Michigan, the only major area for the 2017-2018 period still showing a steady decline is Saginaw/Midland/Bay City; Saginaw and Bay City are still bleeding steadily, and Midland's growth is estimate to have been flat since 2010. Genesee County is also declining, too, but last period's estimates show a major slow-down in the loss. Same with Metro Detroit where Wayne County saw it's smallest estimated annual loss in over two decades. Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo and Lansing are all showing healthy growth.
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  #1046  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2019, 3:34 PM
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The $242 million Red Cedar Renaissance redevelopment passed it's two largest political hurdles, last night, with council approval of the complex development agreement and the projects brownfield redevelopment plan. Construction should start in late summer, as they still have a few other administrative issues to clear up for this one:

City Council greenlights Red Cedar project

Quote:
MONDAY, April 22 — Developers are one step closer to construction at the former Red Cedar Golf Course after the Lansing City Council voted 7-1 tonight to approve a development plan and tax incentives for the project.

Only At-large member Peter Spadafore opted to vote against the long-sought agreement with Continental-Ferguson LLC. to transform the abandoned golf course along Michigan Avenue into a mixed-use, $250 million, super-development.

“I think every argument made against this has truly been put to bed,” said Councilman Adam Hussain.

The Council for months has weighed a repeatedly shifting proposal from developers Joel Ferguson, of Lansing, and Frank Kass, of Columbus, Ohio. It aims to redevelop the vacant parcel into market-rate and student housing, a hotel, a senior care facility, an amphitheater and various retail and restaurant space.
This also allows the public portion of this project, a massive park/wetlands drain reconstruction, to begin this summer. Ranney Park will be redone as part of the Montgomery Drain reconstruction:



Love it or hate it, Frandor is here to stay. What would make it easier to walk, drive the area?

Quote:
Additionally, pedestrians will eventually be able to use pathways at Ranney Park just east of Frandor.

The asphalt pathways also will accommodate county utility vehicles. which must access retention ponds being built as part of a $30 million county drain project to reduce flooding and prevent pollution from spilling into the Red Cedar River.

"It's going to be a lot more appealing, a lot more walkable," Ingham County Drain Commissioner Pat Lindemann said. "Probably, when it's done, you won't recognize the place."

The drain project, which could break ground this summer, coincides with plans for a $250 million commercial development near Michigan Avenue at the site of the former Red Cedar golf course.
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  #1047  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2019, 9:25 AM
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600 East Michigan announces it's new hotel chain, and a new name: Block600

Courtyard by Marriott will be the first full-service hotel to open downtown in 33 years

Quote:
LANSING -- For the first time in more than three decades, downtown Lansing will welcome a new full-service hotel.

Lansing's Gillespie Group and Concord Hospitality, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, announced Thursday that a Courtyard by Marriott will anchor development on the 600 block of East Michigan Avenue.

The hotel, downtown's first to open since 1986, is expected to have up to 124 rooms and open in "late 2020," according to a news release.

It will also include a a bar and lounge, lobby, outdoor patio space, fitness center and three meeting spaces, the news release said.
In other downtown news, local-developers Boji Group have closed the sale on the old state senate office building off the capitol square.

Boji Group plans revamp of Farnum Building after $4.5 million sale

Quote:
LANSING — The Boji Group has purchased the Billie S. Farnum Building from the state for $4.5 million.

Now the developers are prepping for a $20 million renovation of the building, which sits at the southeast corner of West Allegan Street and South Capitol Avenue, diagonal to the Capitol.

With its many floor-to-ceiling windows, the Farnum Building offers views better than even the Boji Tower, Lansing's tallest downtown building, said Ron Boji, president of Boji Group

“Those kind of views of the Capitol are second to none," he said.
Quote:
Boji said he hopes to start construction in August and have the building ready for move in by the end of next year. He said 90% of the work on the property will be interior, updating flooring, walls and lighting.
Typical office:



Lobby:

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  #1048  
Old Posted May 1, 2019, 7:55 AM
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Landmark from about a week ago:


https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwp4BZmFujM/

Most work is happening inside, now, but as you can see the tower crane is still up.

The Graduate Hotel next door must have started work this week. So that's five high-rises in some stage of construction central East Lansing all at once. Must be a record or something. The ground floor Target is still scheduled for completion this summer before they open the apartments. Newman Lofts behind Landmark has been quickly signing leases for its ground floor retail space.
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  #1049  
Old Posted May 2, 2019, 12:33 AM
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Looks good! Glad to see plans for the Farnum also.
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  #1050  
Old Posted May 5, 2019, 1:26 PM
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^ Excellent. I hadn't thought about it before, but from a construction sequencing standpoint, it's convenient that the tower crane for Landmark did not have to run through the floor plates of the building, but rather was able to occupy that central courtyard area.
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  #1051  
Old Posted May 6, 2019, 7:18 AM
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The "central courtyard area" is actually an alley; Newman Lofts is the building going up on the other side.



It's actually fairly heavily used to bypass Albert and Grand River when those sidewalks get packed. And because there are large parking garages off of it, it's also used by those who come to the downtown by automobile.
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  #1052  
Old Posted May 7, 2019, 1:11 PM
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^ That's right, thanks for the reminder. Should be a neat space, when finished.
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  #1053  
Old Posted May 8, 2019, 9:51 AM
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With the site finally cleared - and quicker than I thought - Block600 in the Stadium District had its official ground breaking on Monday:





https://www.facebook.com/GillespieGr...8151?__tn__=-R
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  #1054  
Old Posted May 14, 2019, 7:57 AM
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From East Lansing Buzz last week:

https://www.eastlansingbuzz.org/sing...pdate-05-10-19

Well, it's official, the Graduate Hotel in Park District is now under construction with piles started this week. This makes five high-rises under construction in some phase or the other in East Lansing. 100 West Grand River concrete pours and decking are up to the second floor. The next big thing is the installation of a large transformer on site.



Over a Center City, painting is up the the top floor at Landmark and sidewalks and pavers are complete on the Grand River side. They are almost ready to start moving merchandise into the ground floor Target. On the Newman Lofts on Albert, the masonry work on the parking garage portion is complete with storefront builds outs nearly complete.



On The Hub, drywall is up to level 9, finishing is occuring on floors 3-6, and masonry along the base is nearly complete. Ground floor retail spaces are nearly built out.

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  #1055  
Old Posted May 14, 2019, 11:17 AM
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This one kind of came out of nowhere. Various developers have been trying to redevelop this land opposite the state Hall of Justice for going on two decades, now. Mostly recently, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters bought the block in 2013, but their last attempt to develop it failed. So imagined my surprise when I saw something was under construction this month without an formal announcement.



Developers prep for new Ottawa Street apartments

Quote:
THURSDAY, May 9 — Work has begun on Capitol Park Center, a 48-unit apartment complex with retail space near the Hall of Justice.

Contractors have begun site work about three blocks west of the Capitol on the 700 block of Ottawa Street. It will include two, four-story apartment buildings with 48 units. At least 25% of the development will be designated for low-income residents and the chronically homeless.

The site is bordered by Ottawa on the south, Butler Boulevard on the west, Ionia Street on the north and Sycamore Street on the east.

Site plans approved by the city of Lansing this year show the project will include 8,500 square feet of commercial space adjacent to a yet-to-be constructed office building for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. The plans also call for more than 150 parking spaces to accommodate the two developments.
Quote:
Officials at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority expect the apartments to be completed sometime before June 2020, creating 150 construction jobs and eventually leading to 20 full-time jobs in the unnamed commercial space. One full-time manager will also look after the property and its eventual tenants.
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  #1056  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2019, 10:18 PM
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The Center City crane comes down next week as work is being wrapped up on the project:





https://twitter.com/CityofEL/status/1134543822984273920





https://twitter.com/HarborBayREA/sta...78696587845633

In that last shot you can also see 100 West Michigan Avenue rising next door. It has formally been named The Abbot, and will become the tallest building in town upon its completion. Next door to that is the Graduate East Lansing hotel, which is also formally under construction with foundation work ongoing.





A reminder of what those two will look like:





In other downtown EL news, the council is being presented with a moratorium on all construction downtown until the form-based code is done, which at its soonest will be done mid-September.
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  #1057  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2019, 11:55 PM
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In Lansing, the new McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital began vertical construction last week with the first steel being raised. The FAA has this one as being 178 feet tall, but that may be including rooftop communication equipment, not sure. Old elevations I saw showed something in the 158-foot range though they asked the city to be cleared for 178 feet.



https://twitter.com/bartonmalow/stat...57682852093953

Downtown, a developer has proposed turning the vacant Genesee School in the Genesee Neighborhood into 38 efficiency apartments. Rezoning is up for this one next week. Built in 1910, it's been vacant for quite a few years now, though still relatively intact.


Restore Lansing

In the lower eastside, the old Holmes Street School will be turned into multi-family housing, as well, though details are still unclear of the specifics.


Martin Commercial

In other news:



Census: Lansing's population grows for eighth straight year, hits highest point since 2005

Quote:
LANSING — The city of Lansing has grown in population for the eighth straight year, according to U.S. Census population estimates released Thursday.

The city had 118,427 residents as of July 1, 2018, up from 114,309 on July 1, 2010, according to Census data.

Eric Guthrie, state demographer of Michigan and a Lansing resident, said Thursday that the 2018 population mark is the city's largest since 2005, when the population stood at 118,084.
Quote:
Lansing's population growth looked like this:
  • 2018 - 118,427
  • 2017 - 117,882
  • 2016 - 116,635
  • 2015 - 115,358
  • 2014 - 115,102
  • 2013 - 114,736
  • 2012 - 114,653
  • 2011 - 114,533
  • 2010 - 114,309
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  #1058  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2019, 10:40 PM
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Is the old Masonic Temple downtown still vacant? Anything planned for it?
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  #1059  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 12:16 AM
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As far as I know, since it's renovation in 1996, it's been apartments and office space for years. Whether the office space on the ground floor and basement is currently in use, I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's been used by the owner consistently.
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  #1060  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by LMich View Post
As far as I know, since it's renovation in 1996, it's been apartments and office space for years. Whether the office space on the ground floor and basement is currently in use, I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's been used by the owner consistently.
I meant the one in downtown Lansing, not East Lansing, sorry. Last I knew it was vacant from Cooley Law School relocating.
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