$85M development planned near Eastwood

edited October 2009 in Lansing
Personally I don't think this project will go through. Given the fact that most of the other mixed-use and residential projects in the area are on hold because of the economy. Plus I don't think the Lansing area could support a third "downtown".

$85M development planned near Eastwood
Midday update

Melissa Domsic • mdomsic@lsj.com • October 20, 2009 • From LSJ.com

LANSING TWP. - Vacant land surrounding Eastwood Towne Center could see an influx of activity with a handful of new restaurants, shops, condos, a boutique hotel and a parking ramp.

Plans are in the works for an $85 million, 15-acre mixed-use development on Preyde Boulevard east of NCG Eastwood Cinemas and north of Champps Restaurant and Bar.

The Lansing Township Downtown Development Authority hopes to receive $29 million in federal Recovery Zone Bonds and start construction next spring.

The DDA would build the parking deck and some commercial space, while private developers would construct the rest.

For more on this story, read Wednesday's Lansing State Journal.


  • I've been expecting to hearsome official word on a new Eastwood development for awhile. I'm fairly confident that this project will happen, even if it may be awhile before we see it get underway.
  • edited October 2009
    I'm with DetroitMan as far as having concerns if Mid-Michigan can support this. Put another way, will the success of this development come at the detriment to another area, be it downtown Lansing, Old Town, Downtown East Lansing, etc.? For example, the money itself (the $29 million) that's needed to even get this started, as far as I understand, is in direct competition with a parking ramp downtown Lansing wants to build. So right from the beginning, this would take away something from downtown. I don't see this development as adding to the urban environment of Mid-Michigan so I'm not sure I can support it. It just seems to be tearing down forest to build something rather than building on empty space in already existing downtowns in the area. But I've been wrong before. Maybe some of you other guys have a different perspective on how this could play out and actually be a benefit overall??? I'd love to hear it!

    I was particularly impressed with the maturity and wisdom of the Dewitt town supervisor who was quoted in the LSJ after Auto Owner's announced they're expanding their current HQ instead of moving it to Dewitt. His comment was along the lines of 'I'm sad they're not coming, but Dewitt's success was never dependent on them coming here, and we're thrilled they're staying in Lansing and expanding...what's good for the area is good for us all." Too bad Lansing and Lansing Township can't get on board with that mentality. As of late is also seems Lansing/E. Lanisng relations have been good and focused on the collective improvement of the area also.
  • I don't think this development will have much of an affect on any of our urban centers. It will probably have much more of an impact on the malls and the suburban retail corridors.
  • edited October 2009
    I'm surprised the LSJ published this, especially as if they hadn't just mentioned it a few days and weeks ago. This is so obviously propoganda, as they are wrangling for the same stimulus bonds as the Accident Fund parking garage, downtown. The paper literally mentioned this a few days ago, and I believe just on Sunday they used their editorial to come out in support of granting the Accident Fund parking garage project bond priority over this speculative parking garage/retail combo at Eastwood.

    Either Melissa Domsic didn't do her homework or her editors know exactly what they were doing, or both. I don't know who they think they are trying to fool.
  • After reading this article in today's edition, I'm more convinced than ever this project shouldn't be built.

    $85 million plan puts shops, hotel near Eastwood
    Lansing Township proposes new development adding restaurants, condos and a parking ramp

    Melissa Domsic • mdomsic@lsj.com • October 21, 2009 • From Lansing State Journal

    LANSING TWP. - An $85 million development plan adjacent to Eastwood Town Center is poised to bring more diners and shoppers to the area near Lake Lansing Road and U.S. 127.

    Plans are in the works for a 15-acre mixed-use development on vacant land along Preyde Boulevard east of NCG Eastwood Cinemas and north of the Champps Americana restaurant. Those plans call for a collection of restaurants, shops, condos, a boutique hotel and a parking ramp.

    The Lansing Township Downtown Development Authority hopes to receive $29 million in Recovery Zone Bonds - federal stimulus package money - and start construction in spring 2010.

    The DDA would build the parking structure and some commercial space at a cost of roughly $21 million to $25 million, but it's seeking a private developer for the rest of the project.

    The DDA's portion would be funded partly through a special assessment levied on the existing and future commercial properties that would use the parking structure.

    "The DDA's role is to encourage economic development at a level above what the private market would support," Executive Director Steve Hayward said.
    New jobs

    Altogether, the development should create 200 to 300 jobs, Hayward said. But at least one retail expert questioned the wisdom of embarking on such an ambitious plan now.

    Pat Huddleston, retailing professor at Michigan State University, said she's surprised the DDA is planning an expansion in the midst of a recession.

    On the other hand, she said, this could be a good opportunity to lock in lower construction costs.

    "I'm not sure that it's needed, but it's possible that it could be viable if they bring in retailing and dining options that aren't already present in the Lansing area," Huddleston said.

    Eastwood Towne Center opened in September 2002 at Lake Lansing Road just west of U.S. 127. It's 95 percent occupied and is made up of about 40 stores, several restaurants and a movie theater. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and its Sam's Club subsidiary opened stores west of the center in August 2004.
    (2 of 2)

    The planned expansion is not affiliated with Eastwood, which is owned by Inland US Management LLC.

    Multi-use space

    The DDA's plans call for more than 100,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial space and a 926- to 1,285-space parking structure that would span both sides of Preyde Boulevard. Two 12- to 15-story towers would be constructed on top of the parking deck.

    One tower would house a boutique hotel, residential rental units, owner-occupied condominiums and penthouses. The other would hold 140,000 to 200,000 square feet of office space.

    The the rest of the article can be found here:
  • It's nice to actually have the details of what Lansing Township is planning, so thanks to the LSJ for doing this story. All we knew a few days ago was that the township had a plan for a parking ramp that was competing for financing with the Accident Fund/Christman ramp.

    Of course, with no signed tenants in hand (only "verbal commitments," which are worthless) I wouldn't expect to see much more than parking ramp built there for a little while. Of course, the township DDA may have the finances and will to build the ramp and wait for the private development (hotel, retail space, etc.) to come in a few years once the credit markets finally thaw. Given the development across 127 in East Lansing, I have no doubt that Eastwood will eventually build out (let's all hope they do it in the best way, building up and not just sprawling out).

    Here's a question for the group: Would someone really want to live in a condo here? A) You'd be along the interstate, and B) The scent of the landfill (methane) does pretty frequently waft over to Eastwood. Does the convenience of being next to the movie theater and shopping center trump those negatives? I could totally see a hotel - maybe even some apartments - but I'm not sure about condos.
  • I'm not too sure about condos either, I would imagine that this development would be better for student oriented housing and some middle to high end apartments. It's hard to say how well the residential portion of this project will go, although I'm sure that the retail, restraunt, and hotel portions of the project should be quite successfull.
  • Its intriguing in that they have the land to build this development, but from the picture presented in the press they haven't even designed it. They want to use federal stimulus bonds but I thought those were for "shovel ready" projects. Perhaps I'm mistaken. I'm about as anti-sprawl as they come and I'd rather see this money spent in a real downtown first, whether it be Lansing, East Lansing, Frandor, Williamston, or any other "historical" urban area.
  • While I'd love to see this focus and money go to the downtown core, I am cautiously optimistic about this. I always wished that they put in a floor or two of condos and apartments over the retail in Eastwood. If anyone here is familiar with Crocker Park in Cleveland, something a bit like that. I feel like this might build up the area a little more, so it's less sprawl and more multi-layered, if that makes any sense. While I think the downtown should be the focus, I do think that we shouldn't ignore the fringe areas. Eastwood is an important retail area and the anchor of the northern tier and I don't think we should throw all our energy into downtown at the expense of other areas. I think chain restaurants and the type of retail this project will attract is better suited to urbanized suburbs anyway. I don't think any of us expects a Cheesecake Factory to go into downtown, but something like that would really do great at Eastwood. I agree with hood though - I imagine they will end up renting most units to students and young professionals. I doubt a lot of people will buy condos there - except to rent them out.
  • edited October 2009
    As far as shovel ready, the parking ramp would be, they'd start that early 2010 and that's what the majority if not all of the stimulus bonds are for. If they do build a parking ramp (as opposed to massive parking lots), and two 12-15 story towers, I'd be more open to it. Because in that case, it would be more urban than a traditional suburban mall. In fact, it wouldn't be terrible to have a nice area with a couple towers and a parking ramp to see as you're coming down 127 to be a signal that you're getting close to a large city. It would become something kinda like Clayton, MO is to St. Louis.

    And along the lines of what woodsstephene said, I myself hate suburbs, I don't like to visit them and I do everything I can to not spend my money there. HOWEVER, I'm a pragmatist and for downtown to do well long-term and to reach it's full potential, I do think we need good suburbs (Okemos, Delta Township, etc.). I think you need them because to attract large companies to move to Lansing, I think you need to offer a wide range of amenties. If we have a thriving downtown urban area and strong suburbs, then a large company with lots of diverse employees will be more open to coming here because their staff can have more choices of where to live. And the reality is some people just prefer suburbs, they don't like cities. So in that respect I do support suburbs to a certain extent (up to the point they detract from the city). Now that I've thought about it more and listened to others, I think Hood had a good point, the concern is more for the impact to other malls/suburb retail areas. So as long as Eastwood doesn't go forward with a convention center project that would detract from the Lansing Center, I don't see this as much of an afront to Lansing. There's more of an impact to Lansing and Meridian Malls and maybe Frandor.
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