Knapp's building redevelopment

edited April 2010 in Lansing
Eyde plans on redeveloping the former Knapp's department store in Lansing. The renovated building will contain retail and office space, along with a business incubator 19 residential units and underground parking. Eyde plans to move their own headquarters, with about 50 employees, from their Hagadorn Rd location to the Knapp's. The project is expected to cost $22 to $24 million, begin in early 2011 and be complete in 2013.

Eyde plans overhall of Knapp's building

LSJ Archive of Knapp's building

Lansing City Pulse article on the announcement:
Knapp's wakes up


  • edited April 2010
    Great, great news. For me, this is the last major piece of the puzzle in downtown as far as the redevelopment of old dinosaurs is concerned. I've always said that if the Ottawa Street Station and Knapps Center could be made to work, there is absolutely NOTHING that the development community in this city can't make happen. Really, this is HUGE.

    I was having a feeling after Ignite that we might be hearing something. It looks like they are going keep most of the historic facade, which was an absolutely necessity for my support of a project like this. I also love that there wil be underground parking. Really, I don't have enough good things to say. Ususally, these projects leave a lot to be desired in Lansing, but this one seems nearly perfect. Fingers crossed...

    BTW, am I reading this right or is he hoping to pay for nearly the entire redevelopment with tax credits and incentives? Of is this $23/24 million of their own money in addition to the $20 million in tax credits? I thought the $20 million seemed awfully low, but then again this having been relatively recently occupied and renovated for modern use, I guess it'd be cheaper to get back up and running that most historic buildings.
  • I don't see $24 million as an unrealistic number for this renovation. As you said the building was fairly recently occupied as an office building and has been maintained. You could almost build a brand new building Knapp's size for $24 million.

    By the way here are renderings and floor plans:
    Exterior View

    View of atrium

    View of residential patio

    Basement parking floor plan

    First floor plan

    Office floor plans (2nd-4th floors)

    Residential floor plan (5th floor)
  • The LSJ has some historic photos, today, a few of which revealed things about downtown I never knew.

    In these two photos, you can see there was a parking garage at Capital and Washtenaw next door to the Cooley Temple Building and across the street from Knapp's:



    I'd never heard of this parking garage. I wonder when it was built, and when they decided to tear it down.

    In this pic from 1980, they reference that Washington Square was closed off to traffic:


    I'd always thought that only North Washington Square was ever made a pedestrian mall. I had no idea that it extended to the south blocks. I wonder how far it was closed off two? Looking at the existing streetscape, it seems as if could have been a pedestrian mall as far south as Lenawee.
  • I had heard of that parking garage before from my parents. Apparently it was sort of a shoddy building and wasn't around for all that long. Besides that all I know is that it was 8 floors, the discolored line on the side of the Masonic Temple was the roof line of the ramp.
  • I wonder what effect this will have on the adjacent buildings to the west on Washtenaw. Will they be razed, left in their current state, etc.?
  • Cooley owns those buildings, which leads me to think their days probably are numbered. But who knows?

    The law school bought them from Accident Fund, which had been amassing land around downtown before it decided to move its HQ into the power plant.
  • I did not know that Cooley scooped up those buildings, thats kinda disappointing really. I think they have plenty of room for expansion between their library location and the lot next to the Temple Building, it's probably a sign that they intend to expand outwards as opposed to upwards.
  • edited April 2010
    It'd be nice to see Cooley put up some dormitories/school-run apartments up on some of the land around their classroom buildings and offices. I'd always wondered why they'd never got into the housing business a little sooner, because anything they built residential-wise around the campus would definitely be a money-maker when you take into account that the largest contigent of downtown residents for the last decade have been Cooley students, anyway.

    BTW, looking on the city property look-up, one of the buildings was built in 1900 and the other (the one of the corner) in 1917. I knew they were old, but didn't realize they were that old. The one on the corner was partially renovated a few years back. Anyone know if it has lofts, or if it was renovated for office use?
  • I think that building is just office. It was supposed to be renovated into lofts, but I remember hearing that they decided just to make it into offices. It was discussed on one of the forums awhile back, it was called 301 Place. I can find mentions of it, but very little info on it. Looks like it was a 2005 project.
  • Another article on the project from todays LSJ, it's basically just a feel-good article: Newest downtown project spurs excitement, optimism

    I am glad to here though that class-A office space only has a 6.1% vacancy rate downtown, I think that's pretty good.
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