Southside Lansing Development

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  • edited January 16

    Looks like the city's insistence that Logan Square be sold finally became true.

    LANSING — Logan Square has new owners.

    Logan Capital, LLC, a real estate investment group from California, purchased the property in late 2018, Steven Silverman of Friedman Real Estate said.

    “They felt it had strong potential with the amount of vacancy,” he said. “They plan to repurpose and enhance the property.”

    Logan Square is about 28% occupied, according to a previous auction listing. Tenants include a Dollar Tree, Great Giant Supermarket, Subway, H&R Block and hair and nail salons. The property at the northwest corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Holmes Road, is about 277,082 square feet.

    Specs:

    The property was initially known as Logan Center when it was built in 1962. Logan Square is comprised of two single-story buildings with 56 retail units and one outlot, according to the property listing. The space was most recently renovated in 2006.

    I was also glad to see the councilman for the area make plain that the current layout of the center will not work in this century. He wants to see it demolished and a mix of uses put in its place. Hopefully these California investors already know that the current design of the center has not and will not work.

  • This is good news. They could build a whole new neighborhood in that space. I hope for a high-quality development perhaps a Town Center-type plan but with higher density and a more urban layout the Eastwood. I wish they would also buy out the strip of properties along MLK that way they could build right to the street and get rid of a strip that has been ugly since 1962!

  • MJMJ
    edited January 16

    Good! Hope they demo this entire site as a first step. They should pull all the asphalt out and just let the land breathe for the first year.

    Yeah, I guess a have some faith that a Californian company might try for a little more progressive design, while still understanding that we're a car region. Though, with this and the work across the street, the City should really be strong-arming this to be much more pedestrian friendly/walkable. There should be a big bus hub out here. This is the major hub of the southside. (okay, one of several major hubs)

  • Great news. I also just saw the super market a bit to the south is for sale. Looked like a steal before, but with this sale it's even better.

  • One thing that would be a huge win for this area (and the southside in general) would be to turn that old train line (discussed above) into a greenway.....at minimum from Holmes running north to REO town --- it would really light up a lot of small cool areas along the way and better connect some segmented neighborhoods. Given how much expansion of the trail network there has been, I'm surprised this spur hasn't been focused on yet. Yes, it would cost a lot of money. But I guarantee it would improve home values all along the way and turn some abandoned buildings into viable redevelopment sites.

  • Yeah, actually looking at this again -- there is absolutely no reason for this greenway not to happen. This would be the best thing for South Lansing since REO Town. Who's going to push this??? I really hope that this is already being studied. If Lansing were to be competitive for residents (even just regionally, for people that could go to Detroit, GR, Kalamazoo or AA instead (all better cities)) then the city or residents or bike community would be pushing this project so hard. They would get state funding and make this happen within 4 years. If I were Mayor I would make sure this project happened. Lansing is already far superior to most cities in terms of the bike trail system. But it needs a more urban stretch similar to the Dequindre Cut in Detroit or the B-Line in Bloomington IN. This is the spot for that.

    The other train line in Lansing that needs to be greenwayed is the small stretch going behind the buildings in Old Town. This one so clearly needs to be a garden walkway for post-meal strolling. It pains me to see that 30 years into Old Town's revamp that this still hasn't been figured out.

    Like I said, Lansing's doing a lot of things right, but if it doesn't start icing the cake with projects like this, it will continue to loose young people to places like GR and AA.

  • edited January 16

    To note, railroad abandonment/railbanking are very complicated, processes that involve the federal Surface Transportation Board and can take quite some time. Most important, the railroad has to request it. In the case of both the lines, neither is actually abandoned. In fact, the Lansing & Jackson Railroad, which operates this rail, was talking as recently as a few years ago of reusing the spur through Old Town to service scrap recycler Frieland Industries. And though very rarely used the spur through the southwest was/is used to sometimes service Reid Machinery at the end of the line and Quality Dairy's warehouse/headquarters.

    So the first step would be to see if Jackson & Lansing - and the actual owner of the lines, Conrail - would even want to start the process before you'd even get to the point of figuring out the money aspect.

    I'd personally be in favor of trying this, but I don't see this as a particularly importment development for that area, though it'd be a nice side amenity. I also kind of disagree that Lansing is losing out to these other areas to the degree that you, particularly as it relates to urban trails, which is something that Lansing actually beats most of these other cities you mentioned on. In fact, Lansing is particularly innovative on this front after having passed the county parks and trails millage. So I'd approach the whole issue not that Lansing is so far behind, but rather to maintain its leadership status for city's its size as it concerns urban trails it should be focusing on this corridor.

  • I'm with you in terms of the quality of Lansings bike trails. Our system is fantastic and I love all the expansion. We are far superior to Ann Arbor in terms of bike trails (a fact that I love.....and that it is also undebatable). The only downside of the trail system (and this isn't actually a downside) is that that trails mostly follow natural features -- rivers, streams, or the powerlines in the case of that far southern crosstown stretch -- makes a lot of sense because these are continuous linear alignments. BUT, often these alignments don't interface a whole lot with neighborhoods, or streets even, or retail centers (Old Town is the only real exception I can think of).

    From what I have observed, bike trails are more successful the more they stub out and connect into neighborhoods. Like the road network, there is a need for neighborhood streets, feeder roads and arterials and highways. We have the highway (riverwalk trail) which is great for commuters, but there are not enough entrance and exit ramps so to speak. I think a next phase of the trail expansion should not be extending the lines further, but rather building out better connections to all of the neighborhoods that it passes through. We need to get 7 and 8 year-old kids out biking on these trails. The serious bike crowd will find their way regardless.

    What's nice about the train lines that I mentioned above is that they are already at the same grade as the rest of the city making them more accessible, visible and safe. I could see parades of families walking along here in the summer evening hours. I could see packs of 10-year-olds riding into REO town to buy gum and baseball cards or video games or whatever kids are obsessed with these days.

    I saw how this worked in Detroit. The riverfront was great, people came from all over the region to stroll and bike. When the Dequindre Cut opened up, all of a sudden families and seniors and kids that lived adjacent to it started flooding onto it. The whole trail system gained so much more use, as well as more ownership. I think with this kind of stuff it helps to literally roll the red carpet right out to peoples doors in order to truly invite them in.

    Okay, sorry for the rambling.

  • I would also argue that this is indeed of the utmost importance for Lansing. This city needs better public space and recreational amenities. The city has a weak/underdeveloped park system. It's sold off two of the most important recreation properties (Red Cedar and Waverly) for weak development proposals (the Red Cedar concept is so weak that 6 years in there's been literally zero progress made). Everyone's lawyered up....it's gonna end in disaster and embarrassment for our region. People need to be thinking about plan b.....which needs to become plan A and it's this: 1) Ingham County acquires and develops Red Cedar as world class public park in the center of our region. 2) Frandor redevelops into a dense urban neighborhood better than any other in the region (this will happen naturally, through market forces).

    This needs to be the new course of action. I will repeatedly say that the Red Cedar project is 1) a joke 2) a waste of tax payer money 3) short-sited and small minded 4) unrightfully taking a huge amount of public land away from the public and putting it in the hands of incompetent and heartless/brainless developers.

  • And yes, obviously the railroad companies need to be worked with on those greenways. But not gently, the mayor needs to strong-arm these companies into giving up their properties for a reasonable price. Their properties have been blighting our city for fifty years....they need to give it up. Frieland Industries can go straight out of business for all I care. In fact, force them out of business! This is bigger than them. Force Conrail's hand! These are villains to be pushed aside, not partners.

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