The Outfield



  • edited May 2014
    Lansing has a lot of zoning quirks. Most of the Cedar/Larch corridor south of Oakland is zoned light industrial. I guess that's because it used to be something of a warehouse district and they never got around to changing the designations. Another huge quirk of Lansing zoning is that all Lansing parkland is zoned as residetial, most as the lowest classification of residential (A-Residential Single). I never quite understood why we don't have a seperate park zoning classification, particularly since parks are protected classes of land in the city requiring a city-wide vote to sell as we've all found out in recent years if we didn't know it already.
  • The city has the development agreement for The Outfield up on its site. The thing is a full 96 pages long, so I just skimmed it, but a huge part of the agreement seems to concern the parking situation in the area. Some observations:

    - The city will own the surface parking lot to be created where the city garage now stands, and lease it out to the operators of the stadium.

    - If the city decideds to build a parking garage north of the stadium, it will be directly north of this parking lot (bound on the north by Shiawassee, in between Cedar and Larch), and the city will lease 100 spaces to the stadium operators of the stadium for residents.

    - If the Chippewa casino ever gets off the ground, the city will build a 90-foot wide road between Cedar and Larch that will cut through 90 feet in the southside of the new parking lot (which will be 145 feet wide, or so). The city would then develop a parking garage on much of the surface parking lot directly east of the Lansing Center along Cedar, connect it to the Stadium property with a skybridge, and lease out 100-or-so spots to operators of the stadium for the residents. The portion of the parking lot at Michigan and Cedar will be left for the city to do whatever it'll eventually do with it (i.e. performing arts center, etc...)

    None of this is particularly new news, but it's interesting to see it officially in writing.
  • A skybridge! I would love more connections between the buildings downtown too - I don't care if they're above or below ground. I just don't want to go outside when it's -10 out.
  • More proof that you're not from around here. lol
  • I don't have much hope for the casino, but a skybridge is the wrong solution. Basically, by building a skybridge the city is admitting that pedestrian crossings on Cedar St are really dangerous. However, the only people that would be able to cross in this safe, covered structure are people who live in the stadium district/attend the casino.

    A better improvement would be to add a pedestrian light for the crossing and slow traffic down through natural means (street narrowing, bike lanes, and more stop lights).
  • Yeah, it's basically a moot point, because the chances of the casino happening are very slim.
  • Given the City Council approved this project, it seems like this project is nearly a go, unless there are additional funding or environmental issues that need to be resolved?
    Council approves Cooley Law School Stadium project
  • They haven't been totally clear, but from what I understand the project is totally ready to go from the city's point of view. I assume that stadium renovations will begin when baseball's over. As for The Outfield project, they said it will be ready by opening day 2016, which at almost two years away is going to take a bit longer than I expected.
  • Yes, everything from the municipal standpoint is clear. The property has been rezoned and everything. Stadium improvements start right at the end of this season with hopes of them being ready for next season. The apartments start whenever the stadium renovations are completed, so sometime next spring.
  • I've noticed a few things going on the area within the last month.

    - It seems that as recently as Wednesday, the long-vacant warehouse across Shiawasee from Riverfront Cycle and NAPA has been painted in a really dark blue color. It shocked me. While not part of the Outfield project proper, this block as the has the option in the development agreement to be used for a parking garage. Seems to me odd to paint a building that's almost inevitably going to be demolished.

    - Within the last month or so, the Michigan Dyslexia Institute at the southwest corner of Larch and Shiawassee - immediately east of the warehouse above - has been put up for sale. The institute has been housed in a historic house for many years, now. I do hope they find some way to save the structure.
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