South Edge Lofts

edited January 2016 in Lansing

The South Edge Lofts are a proposed mixed use development on St. Joseph Street between Washington Ave. and Capitol. The $13 million project will consist of 50 apartments and approximately 13,000 square feet of office space. The facades of two existing buildings, The Blake House and 617 S Capitol, will be incorporated into the new apartment building's facade.

1/7/2016 Press release - South Edge Lofts

1/7/2016 From LSJ: New mixed-use project set for S. Washington Ave


  • It looks like a good start, the lSJ used a different rendering which I like slightly better the the one pictured above. I am hoping they could have a couple of store fronts maybe a coffee shop or something like that. Perhaps the developer will hold a pubic meeting to hear from the neighborhood. I can not get over that this drawing looks like an elementary school from the 90's, how about something that looks like 2016.
  • Note that the LSJ rendering is dated 2014 but the rendering hood included above is dated 2015. I'm not sure why the LSJ went with the older rendering, unless they found out that the previous design is now being used.
  • Or, it's just the LSJ. lol Seriously, it's not really their faults because of how gutted newspapers have become, but they now make the most simple of mistakes. I noticed that for awhile the Detroit paper's maps they'd post would totally misidentify a location they were talking about. When they experimented with embedded maps in the LSJ (this was a few years ago if I remember correctly) they did the same thing. Even without the maps, mostly recently the local media talked about a business - a boat business, I think - moving from Delta Township to the "city of Lansing," a very specific designation. They had to come back and correct the record as the company was moving up to Watertown Township quite a bit a ways from the city limits. In this case, I think they simply couldn't find the new rendering, or was trying to rush putting out the story and didn't have time to do the few minutes of photoshop to cut the rendering out of the new design and post it on the story. lol

    Anyway, I said it way back when they originally did the change, but the new design is magnitudes better than the older one, which looked as if they'd literally put a sliding metal garage door on one of the major frontages. Yeah, maybe this is a bit unimaginitive - though I'd say that's better than being too imaginitive with the freakshows that are Marketplace and Midtown - I'd much prefer this to something that looked like a half-a-step up from a light industrial warehouse.
  • I like the design too, but I wish that construction of the project would also move the utility lines underground and install a nicer light at the intersection instead of one hanging by wires. I thought it was kinda funny that the rendering including those, at least it's realistic.
  • I think that neither is very exciting, and now that you point it out I forgot about the loading dock door,and I thought maybe the siding was marble or white stone. Which ever the case they could both use a revisit to the design desk. It will be great to have that space filled it would be nice if it were a great building.
    I also would like it if they redesigned the intersection and S. Washington Ave Bridge over I 496. Some sort of awning over the sidewalk would be nice for protection from the elements and the view of the traffic racing below, over what is now a very low railing. There could also be pedestrian cross buttons and right turns must stop for pedestrians signs. I walk across that bridge and intersection often, a lot of people walk there,I think it must be the most used pedestrian crossing over 496, it is not pleasant . Lately the sidewalk has been iced over. It looked like they shoveled the walk but it was covered over again by the plows.
    They could have some nice plantings as only three of the five lanes are used for traffic, so there is a lot of open pavement. Right now the intersection and bridge are a real barrier for people downtown who might say want to walk the few blocks to REOtown for lunch or visit Cooley Gardens. I think if it were a more pedestrian friendly area many more people might consider doing just that.
  • I just hate the office building on the corner in the new design. It's essentially the same as the two office buildings to the north of it, just a more modern design. Having a two floor building on that corner would be bad enough, having it be single user office building with no storefronts facing Washington is unacceptable IMO. I'm fine with the apartment building, I'm very interested in seeing more renderings of it.
  • edited January 2016
    I would like to say that I agree with hood. I know that I am not impressed with many of the plans talked about here because I want them to be better. I think someone here said that a good design does not necessarily mean more expensive. Here in Lansing private developers seem to have similar ideas about design and cost, adding artifice to basic buildings and saying "well at least I built something". I would think that if the city is providing tax benefits to the developer than they could exercise some kind of architectural review. I don't know maybe they do already. If so they should look up a 2016 architectural magazine or web site and take a look at what a building design could be.
  • The brownfield packet for South Edge Lofts is in this weeks city council meeting packet, it includes new rendering and a site plans/floor plans:




    The biggest difference I notice is that the new renderings have an uglier top floor. Where the previous one was glass the new one is some sort of cladding.
  • edited January 2016
    I don't know; it looks like it probably has more glass around the top floor for the sole fact that the east and west faces on the old design appear to be black faces. The top floor also appears to be a bit taller than previously. So it's a bit more everything. Also, happy to see the "back" showing the preservation of the facade of 617 South Capitol.

    That said, the more I look at this, the more I wonder if the blocks directly along the service drive streets (at least on the north) shouldn't just be office space and maybe some ground floor retail? I realize people already live in the Blake House, but I'd like to see resident stuff at least a block from the freeway and use office uses as a buffer. The more I look at the site and the corner, the more I think it should have been reserved for a much more prominent building instead of this kind of "neighborhood" structure. Actually, maybe it's not the housing, so long as its tucked away from the corner, but maybe the corner lot at Washington should have been saved for a legit high-rise? Something just doesn't feel right about the mix of usages and the massing at this particular location. It feels more like something that should probably be on the east bank somewhere along the many vacant lots along Cedar and Larch.

    BTW, notice on the site plan the proposed rezoning of the existing buildings on the block to G, which I believe is apartment shop (i.e. mixed use). I wonder if the "rearranged parking area" will take out the historic house on Hillsdale? I'd really hate to see that. It appears to be just out of view on the site plan.
  • I sorry and I won't go on about it but I just don't understand this plan. Including the old facades looks forced. Nothing relates to them. It's kind odd they depict the old rusty fence next to 496. The building design looks dated.
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