Trowbridge Village

edited November 2013 in East Lansing
Thread to discuss the planned Trowbridge Village development.





  • Proposed Trowbridge revamp leaves out Goodrich's gives some more information about the Goodrich situation with the development. From reading this it sounds like the developer is trying to get a different market as the tenant.
  • I like this plan, especially given the location. I think this shows that you can add density while still retaining the convenience of a strip mall with surface parking, this could serve as a blueprint for what's possible down MLK, Cedar and Saginaw.
  • I'm not sure if my eyes are deceiving me, but I was just poking around East Lansing's website, and it appears there is a slightly revised siteplan up for public comment on Janauary 8th, with a big key change I'm not seeing shown in the renderings above. It appears that the East Building (shorter four-story building along Trowbridge) has gone from ground floor parking to multiple retail units on the ground floor. And, not sure if this is new, but the West Building has a ground floor parking (half of which will be reserved for the shops in the plaza), but also an additional level of underground parking.
  • The revised site plan can be found here:

    I would love for the owners of the Brookfield Plaza at the corner of Hagadorn and Grand River to do a similar project with that strip mall. Both strip malls are directly across the street from the university. The location is a high-demand site for student rentals and currently home to a large surface parking lot.
  • The headline, I think, speaks for itself:
    Developer pulls Trowbridge Plaza revamp plan East Lansing

    Disappointing that the project - whatever the original or in a modified form - apparently won't happen. (Unless another developer comes forward?)
  • edited January 2014
    I'm really torn on this. On one hand, it would be nice to see this area updated. On the other, I was never a huge fan of this particular plan. But, what the developer really miscalculated was antagonizing Goodrich like they did. Had they found a way to grandfather them in, they may have been able to slip this plan through, but it looked like they tried to force them out, and the community wasn't having it.

    That said, I'm kind of worried about this new city council, and I think the media did a horrible job covering the race. It seems that at least two of the new council members are under some impression that East Lansing doesn't need any new housing, and particularly anything that even remotely caters to students. I remember during the race - I can't remember which one it is - one of the candidates showing an astounding lack of knowledge of how the housing market works. Just because East Lansing has vacant housing units doesn't mean all housing is created equally, and that their we don't know new products on the market.

    EDIT: After the City Pulse called them on it, it seems that the LSJ corrected their story. It seems that this hasn't been killed, but that the developer is deciding between the original plan and the revised plan, which really weren't that different.
  • Fresh Thyme Grocery store has signed a lease for the Goodrich spot, so it seems that the project will continue to move forward. I'm curious if Kevin McGraw is going to change the plans, or was just trying to delay the planning commission meeting until he could speak publicly about the new grocery store to lessen concerns about Goodrich's. They said they intend to open in 2015.

    Fresh Thyme grocer signs lease for Goodrich's space in East Lansing
  • edited February 2014
    I imagine if he is really making changes to the plan, they are probably cosmetic. I bet they won't be anything substantial. A few thoughts on this new news having read the City Pulse's angle on this news:

    - It appears Fresh Thyme is a new thing, and they don't currently operate any stores. It's a company on paper, if I'm remembering correctly, and one in which Meijer seems to have a financial stake.

    - The article picks up on some other reporting from their home out west that emphasizes again and again that they are basically a low-budget Whole Foods, with more a concentration on produce. This seems like an odd concept for this particular location. I was expecting that if Goodrich were to leave because of rent, that the folks taking over the space would be a step-up in the market. Fresh Thyme actually sounds like it'd be something that'd fit better in lower income areas in Lansing than at Trowbridge Village.

    There is just something about this project that I can't wrap my mind around, completely. Something smells fishy, like we're not being told the whole story, but I'm not exactly sure what it is or could be.

    Just throwing this out there, but I think it would be awesome if Virg and LEAP could put together a package and have it so that Goodrich could be moved to Lansing, perferably somewhere as close to downtown as you could get them. I can't really thinking of any existing property they could move into, though. It'd be great if there was enough time for a developer to build them a new facility as part of a larger mixed-use development where they could be a retail anchor, like maybe on that plot of land the Eyde's own at the corner of MLK and Kalamazoo.

    Maybe, we could email Virg and LEAP about this; it's worth a shot and wouldn't hurt to bring up.
  • It appears to try and get more support for the project, McGraw has dropped the 100-unit west apartment building, entirely, and put another floor on the east apartment building, bringing it to 76 units. This new building would have 15,000 square feet of commercial (either retail or restaurant) space on the ground floor. To assuage the fears of the neighborhood, there would be no four-bedroom apartments, which are marketed to students.
  • Developer seeks more tax money for Trowbridge project

    Dropping from five to four floors for the apartment building has put the project in a financial tight spot, and there also appear to be some miscalculations about expected tax costs. The developer is looking to get an extra $600k over 16 years from the city.
    The change would give the developer a larger share — as much as $2.2 million over 16 years, up from an original $1.4 million — of new taxes the project would generate.
    I wish they would have let them keep the fifth floor. I don't see why that was axed, as more density there would only help the shopping center out even more.
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