Lansing City Hall Relocation



  • It's not a fair 1:1 comparison, but East Lansing has their city council, government, district court, and police station all in one building and its a pretty small one. Does Lansing really need 400,000 sq ft? I imagine the building would probably be smaller than the current one due to shrinking government, miniaturization of computers and workstations, and increased ability for telecommuting.

    Taking a realistic guess, at the large end I could see a building like Capitol View and on the small end something the size of the MEDC Building.
  • edited January 2016
    Lansing, alone, does not need 400,000, but we're talking county offices include in a regional "justice complex." My sense is that if it's just about moving city hall, it probably won't happen, that they are leaning toward a city-county building to consolidate the current county offices in the city (and if I'm reading this correctly moving additional offices out of Mason) into a building which will include the Lansing city hall.

    BTW, even with the downsizing of city government and the other factors, I'd still bet employment is quite a bit higher than when the building was originally built. I can tell you from personal experience in the building that it's still fairly cramped. Tiny hallways with file cabinents in the hallways, tiny court rooms, etc...the city jail is ridiculous.
  • edited January 2016
    I think the City of Lansing will need more space than it currently has at City Hall. Everywhere I've been in that building has been fairly cramped, the City also has other offices scattered around that I'd expect to be consolidated in a new building, I would also assume that a new building would also have larger common areas adding to the total space.

    I know Emporis used to have the square footage of City Hall, but it's not on there anymore. I estimated the gross square footage from my Sketchup model and it comes out to about 139k sq ft, the assessor's site says that the county courts building is 159k sq ft and the police are leasing 87k sq ft at Hill. All those add up to 385k sq ft before counting in the county offices and courts from East Lansing and possibly even Mason, there would also be the scattered city offices consolidated in the move along with some extra space for everyone to grow/spread out into and a large (1500-2000 space??) parking ramp to boot. This could be a massive project by Downtown Lansing standards, now I'm thinking 400k sq ft is very conservative, I'm gonna guess closer to 600k sq ft.

    edit: Also, I just want to say that I'm leaning towards the Lake Trust block as my favorite site. It's a full block, the existing Lake Trust building could house the police hq with a modest addition and adding well over 1000 employees to the southern edge of the Washington Sq strip could do wonders to attract and retain businesses on that stretch.
  • edited January 2016
    Hood, I think you might be getting ahead of even the rosiest scenario with what has been released so far. This does not sound like a full-scale consolidation of every city government office in Lansing, and there is no way East Lansing's and Mason's district courts are moving. The last time Lansing brought up even the idea of consolidating District Court 54B East Lansing very quickly squashed the idea. It wouldn't make much sense anyway, since it's basically to collect parking ticket money from MSU students. As far as we know at the moment, the only proposed major county move is Ingham County's sheriffs deparment (and probably the Lansing branch of the 30th Circuit Court) and the only major city move would be Lansing's police department.

    The feeling I get is that this is mostly consolidating the existing city and county offices within the downtown area, plus the addition of LPD and ICSD. There could be possible other additions, but there are certain city offices it wouldn't make sense to include as not every city office or operation belongs at city hall. Maybe parking, maybe planning and developments, maybe parks and development, but really not all that much that's outside city hall that could be moved downtown. That they are selling this as a "justice center/complex" speaks to a fairly limited consolidation. This definitely isn't about taking away Mason's role as the county seat, which would require an act of the state, I'm sure, anyway.
  • In the article it says that the project would put "the regions courts under one roof." One could take that to mean all or a majority of the court facilities in Mason and EL could move, I''d doubt that to be the case but I'd fully expect the EL courts to be part of the move and some additional capacity would probably shift to the new complex from Mason. I assume the City has only a modest amount of scattered offices and I expect that most of them besides public service would move to a new City Hall.

    As I said before though, the existing City Hall, Porter Building and LPD lease currently accounts for 385k sq ft. That's almost 400k sq ft before counting the Sheriffs Dept, EL courts, anything from Mason or any of the additional space any of these entities will want.
  • It's too bad about your favorite MacDonald's. I hate when that sort of thing happens. I know I have been away for a long time but one place that has been really stripped of any local identity is the Colonial Village Shopping Center. Of course it looks like it has been as it is now for a while, at one time there was a Schmits supermarket, D&C Dimestore Muir's Durgstore, Kwasp Bakery, 2 shoe stores, and a clothing store and a bank. There were colonial "like" details like a white steeple and barn vents, and pink cherry blossom trees along Mt Hope. Very little of that still remains, one of the vents and a couple of the trees. Three discount chain stores and a Chinese restaurant, they bricked up almost the whole front, it looks sad and was just robbed last night. We should always fight corporate homogenization of our local culture.
  • @gbinlansing, it looks like your comment above was meant for the General Lansing thread.
  • Yes that is true I was kind of responding to the comment about the Mac Donald's. I guess I was on the wrong page.

    As for city hall I would like to see them build something with the style and interest the city put into the past two city halls. The urban Romanesque castle and the Modern style hall that replaced it were both buildings that made bold statements about Lansing.
  • "I guess I was on the wrong page."

    But I saw it! Thanks.
  • edited March 2016
    Can't say I'm happy with this. The Lake Trust building isn't that much younger than the old City Hall.

    City Hall could move to former Lake Trust headquarters

    More than that, city hall is nearly 190,00 square feet, while the Lake Trust building is only 61,000 square feet. The courts and police department would stay behind at city hall. The article talks of Lake Trust (who still own the building) perhaps building out on the parking lot, but doesn't say if that would be for the city or for development in general. This really doesn't sound like a smart move; it doesn't sound like the best option. Seems just another example in recent years of Virg's erratic behvaior, and I was a big fan of the guy for years, but this is getting silly.
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