The Venue at East Town (formerly East Town Flats)

edited January 2017 in Lansing
East Town Flats is a proposed 4-story, 39-unit apartment building with 11,500 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor along the 2000 East block of Michigan Avenue. It is being developed by The Gillespie Company.

Existing 2000 East Block:





Construction is scheduled to start next year.

Ha! Just noticed now that I see the larger rendering that the existing buildings and business along the east end of the block look to be perserved! This is great. Seems the company only owns the buildings from the Underwater World scuba gear shop east. That means that the computer tech place on the corner, tattoo shop and clothing store, and karate dojo buildings will be saved.


  • I really wish they would add some color to it at the least. If its not going to be taller, it should at least be a vibrant building in my opinion. Or maybe have colorful lighting like the Hyatt Place has. I've been to Philly several times and that's one thing i love about the city. The lights invigorate the area.
  • My first reaction to this was also pretty negative, until I realized that it doesn't take up the whole block, now I have somewhat mixed feeling towards this project. There's a couple of those storefronts that I'd like to have seen saved, but I feel that adding something of this scale will be positive for that block. My biggest complaint is that Michigan Ave has no shortage of parking lots, vacant lots and single family homes that I'd rather see developed before razing the buildings in that block. That being said only about half of what they'll be tearing down would've been worth saving anyways. While I'm not excited by the architecture, if done well it could be a nice building. Not that it's saying a lot, but I think I like this design better than Stadium District, Midtown or Marketplace.
  • You all probably know much more about this than me, but doing some work at LCC I learned that (at least for that type of building) once you hit five stories you're considered a "high-rise" and all sorts of additional regulations suddenly apply. Lot of four-story buildings going up lately.
  • This building is appropriate as infill, not as the focal point of this neighborhood. I like the scope of the project, but agree that the design is not inspiring. This neighborhood is diverse and creative, and its dominant buildings should reflect its strengths.
  • Maybe the existing storefronts are too neglected at this point. That wouldn't surprise me. Maybe it doesn't make sense to save the whole strip to preserve maybe 2 interesting features. But, this exact block is the center of growth in the region, the natural center of activity for the neighborhood midway between downtown and EL and adjacent to Red Cedar. Thoughtful design is very important. The current rendering isn't horrible and could be saved without too much trouble. Maybe a section of color or addition of interesting metal or glass. I do like the potential for cafes and pedestrian traffic, which is underserved right now. This one just needs to be done right. It's important.
  • edited November 2015
    @david_shane I've heard that four floor thing before but I'm not sure what specifically they're referring to. Even the four floor buildings still have fire suppression, multiple stairwells and elevators. The only thing I can think of would be the difference in foundations and wood vs steel structure, but Marketplace is five floors and still has a wood structure so even that wouldn't hold totally true. That being said I think four floors is a good height for this project, any more than six floors would probably have been too tall.

    @j I think the reasoning behind not saving the buildings has more to do with your second point. There's only two buildings (three if you wanted to save Emil's two floor section) worth saving and those are fairly plain even by 1920's standards. As I said, I would rather the two floor buildings on this block be saved but this project may be just the right thing to get Michigan Ave growing from the middle out.
  • Yeah, I am not disappointed with the height, at all. This is a neighborhood strip. For me, you should probably average three stories top maxing out at four or five depending where on the block the building is (prominent corner buildings would be taller than mid-block buildings). In my opinion, if you want to build any thing higher than that you stay west of Sparrow and east of the freeway. Everything in between should basically be a dozen or so units, tops, with ground floor space. You all know I'm a big highrise guy, but there are places for these things; for instances, places like Stadium District and Marketplace probably should have been reserved for taller buildings, particularly Stadium District with its very prominent location.
  • edited November 2015
    Apparently there are plenty of people who aren't happy with tearing down some of the buildings or the new design: Eyesore or Progress? - City Pulse
  • edited November 2015
    I think what people were really trying to say during the meeting with the developer was that the building pictured is not at all what people in the neighborhood would like to see there. I myself think it is very unimpressive and unrelated to Lansing or the east side. I read that the buildings there now are too badly decayed to use which is reasonable given they were not taken care of properly. Maybe a ground floor facade the uses bricks and wood in the design to at least evoke the store fronts that are there now. The drawing, now what is it? Post modern/modern? Who is their architect? Build something yes! Build something that people will love!
  • Yeah I agree. It would be nice if they were able to rebuild the facades of the buildings, and then make the new building have a 5 or 10-foot setback from the facades. Alternatively, the current facades could be stretched vertically to the height of the new building. That would retain some color (the new building design looks very drab), and also maintain some of the character of the block.
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