Metro Flats

edited March 2014 in Lansing
Well, since both the LSJ and City Pulse have now reported on this, I thought I'd give Hepler's most recent proposal it's own page.

Pre-built 'Metro Flats' envisioned in Lansing

By Lindsay VanHulle | LSJ

March 9, 2014

Harry Hepler has a plan for a vacant lot near his Motor Wheel Lofts apartments.

Hepler, the developer behind several high-end, loft-style rental units in Lansing, wants to build 200 apartments, mostly one-bedroom, and rent them for between $500 and $600 per month.

They won’t be traditional apartments, however. They’ll be prefabricated and modular, built as individual units and assembled later.

“We are looking to raise the bar,” said Steve Purchase, vice president of Hepler’s development company, H Inc.

Called Metro Flats, Hepler’s team envisions four buildings near Oakland Avenue and Prudden Street in Lansing. One-bedroom units would be between 500 and 600 square feet, with phone-controlled appliances, flexible space and adaptable furniture. Two- and three-bedroom units also are being considered, Hepler said.


Ultimately, Hepler plans to build the units in Lansing and transport them by rail to other cities, where he or other developers could assemble them.


My only question is that given how he says these are easier to finance, and they are definitely easier to construct, what Hepler is doing, this year, that's keeping him from starting this until next year. Seems like with 10 more months left in the year, you could have construction ready by the late fall, at least.


  • I'm not overly excited about the rendering (overall architecture and what appears to be a large surface parking lot). Just so-so. But then again, with this project - like Marketplace - the end result may look better than the renderings. I like the fact this provides more housing close to downtown, and a lower cost than Marketplace, Stadium District, or Knapp's (further away) so it won't compete directly with them. Perhaps the Flats along with Marketplace will encourage new commercial developments north of the ball park. Which may lead to more residential, etc.
  • edited July 2014
    Just saw that signs have been put up for "The Flats at Prudden Wheel" (get it? lol) just across the street from the LDP north precinct. The sign says they'll be ready by 2016.
  • edited August 2014
    Monday's city council agenda is showing the city council granting a Special Land Use permit for the site, so I guess that's the last legal hurdle for the project. This seems to be moving rather quickly.
  • Yeah, I was looking at the site plan and I was pleased to see that two of the buildings are going to border Oakland and they will have a small plaza between them, the other two buildings will be along the railroad tracks. I'm just happy to see this site finally get some more use, and some fairly dense use at that.
  • Wait, is the site plan in the council packet? I didn't see it. I'm interested to see it. I'm not sure why this would need to be near Oakland, though. Oakland is in a trench, here, so there is no pedestrian reason to do this, and then you're just adding noise to those on that side of the buildings. Realistically, this needs to be oriented towards May, which acts as a spine between Saginaw and Oakland.

    Still, this is sort of out-of-the-way, anyway, so I'm not stuck up on how any of this is oriented. It just seems you want to line May. In a perfect world, since there is not much retail in this area, I'd have liked to have seen some small, neighborhood storefronts along May, but so very few developers do neighborhood retail, these days, that I don't expect it.
  • I sorta imagined that one day there would be a development of proper mixed use buildings with ground floor retail along May, I hope something like that is in Hepler's log term plans. Anyways I included the site plan and a couple of pictures of the buildings that were on the site:



  • edited August 2014
    Okay, thanks. See, I'd have oriented the developent so that it is "pointing" at the southeast corner so that the parking would have been at the "back" of the site. Instead, they turn it inside out like a strip mall. In fact, if we really are going to cater to parking, I'd like to see what other cities are starting to do and wrapping the development around a small (two-levels or so) parking garage, but I realize that that only happens when you have units expensive enough to pay off the development of a private parking garage. Meh. Is there a walkway I spot around the perimeter of the site?

    Well, what'cha gonna' do? This is Lansing, after all. lol

    BTW, I wonder if Gillespie will eventually do something with the land across from Prudden Place? It was supposed to be a second phase. With this development, this would be the last little piece of the puzzle up that way.
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