The Venue at East Town (formerly East Town Flats)



  • I really like the idea of setbacks. I'm usually all for height, but in this kind of setting, I'd really like to see this wedding-caked up to the top floor. I imagine this probably isn't financially viable and they want to pack as many apartments onto the site as humanly possible, though. I think the brewery they are planning for the old bank across the street, however, is going to be kind of wedding-caked to the top, though. I also agree with one of the comments about making the storefronts a bit more humanizing and like actual storefronts instead of looking like some ultra-modern alien spaceship pods. lol

    But, yeah, no one is really complaining about the actual existence of the development, just that Gillespie could do quite a bit better with the design. I don't think that's a crazy criticism. Given the earful he got, I assume he's going to go back to the architects at least for some tweaks.
  • Pocketed setbacks can work very well, like the setback in the 500 block of E Grand River in East Lansing, something like that may actually be perfect for this block. Maybe there's hope he redesigns this from scratch, perhaps have the facade make it look like there are separate buildings while varying the height and style between them. Hopefully this isn't Studio Intrigue, I don't want to have to blame them for this one...
  • edited November 2015
    I was personally talking a "stacked" vertical massing, where each additional floor is setback from the next, . I'd much rather then keep a solid wall of storefronts on the sidewalk. But, yeah, there is so many little tweaks they could make to this that wouldn't have to substantially raise costs.
    Hopefully this isn't Studio Intrigue, I don't want to have to blame them for this one...

    I'm trying so hard not to laugh. lol I feel bad for them, sometimes, because there is quite a lot they've done that I either like or can tolerate. But, sometimes the stuff is SO lazy and uninspired. I'll keep being a broken record, but a budget is never an excuse for a bad design. What's sad is not that we have to tell developers this, but it seems some architects. An architect should always do his or her best work, even if that means overdesigning and then working with a developer to bring down the costs to their budget. It seems too often, now, these studios are turning into Walmarts and such where they have a prepackaged cheap design they try and sell these developers instead of using their imaginations to meet a practical need by a developer.

    Go big or go home. It's better to overdesign and then scale down than start with trash and try to gussy it up, I guess is what I'm getting at. lol
  • You said it at "... even if that means overdesigning and then working with a developer to bring down the costs to their budget." That's a philosophy that I've figured I would live by if I'm ever involved in a project. Designing things to high level at first can really help you understand the direction you need to go in.
  • edited November 2015
    Of course on a much different scale Boston is a place that has to deal with the dilemma of trying to integrate new and modern architecture and development into an old city. Sometimes it works well like on Boylston Street that was kind of seedy and neglected in the 80's but had all these great 19th century buildings above the store fronts. They rebuilt using most of the old buildings, and mixing in some modern buildings that mostly look like they belong there. Places that have not worked like the West End, Government Center, and Kenmore Sq. are less successful, development there whipped out whole 18th and 19th century neighborhoods to build either modern high rises or faux Boston- esque looking buildings. It works best when the middle ground was found. OK you want to build something new at least give thought to what to the people who have to look at it everyday think. I would want them to love the building, a nice enough design in it self can bring people to that building just to look at it. Human comfort and a sense of place reflected in the design are reasons people love a building. So I would like to see the East Michigan development be successful by finding that middle ground and be a place that people love.

    Here is what could be thought of as "Lansing" wood, blond and red brick, a nod towards Victorian 19th century, and another towards Prairie school, mid 20th century design,arts and crafts design and even Gothic. I am sure people could think of a lot of other touchstones for thought when designing a building for Lansing's main Avenue.
  • edited December 2015
    East Town Flats was approved unanimously by council, last night. They spoke of changes to the design, but as far as I can tell, the only difference was the addition of brick to the second and third floors:



    The brownfield plan also speaks of future redevelopment of 2020 East Michigan, which are the storefronts that will remain closest to Fairview (2018, 2020 & 2024 East Michigan). Not exactly sure what that means.
  • It looks better.
  • It looks a bit different. Better windows, looks like lighter brick, a little window at the top of each section. Looks like they did away with the shinny metallic piping and hopefully the metal siding and port windows. I think it was great they went back and came up with an improvement. It is still a bit monolithic and I think the false roof over hangs or what ever you call those over sized roof panels that seem to be on all new buildings already looks dated like 2005.
  • This new design actually appears to have less brick than the old one. In the old design the same brick continued from the first floor to the roof, in the new design it only goes to the third floor. I'm not impressed by either design nor do I hate either of them. Looking at the elevations this building could be done really cheaply though; the ground floor is probably just cement blocks finished to imitate limestone, the architectural features will probably all be that foam stuff and most of the top three floors is lap siding. This design could still turn out pretty nice though, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
  • edited December 2015
    Wow, that's a lot of doors! Are each one of those supposed to be an individual store? I'm assume one or two of them are for apartment entrances.

    EDIT: Nevermind, just noticed that there's that many in the original render. Guess I never noticed from the original angles. It does look a bit better though. The siding does sort of make it feel a bit on the cheaper side.

    With Skyview going up and hopefully more outside developers to follow, maybe the Gillespies will start feeling the need to step up their game.
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