Avondale Square

edited September 2006 in East Lansing
Wow, I'm surprised there wasn't a thread started on this earlier. There was an article in the State News yesterday stating that the Virginia Ave project is going to cost an extra $300,000.

Here is the article:


Virginia Avenue project cost rises


The State News

The city of East Lansing will shell out an additional $300,000 to fund the Virginia Avenue project.

Originally projected to cost about $3.3 million, the project calls for the demolition of all the homes along the avenue's 600 block. In their place, 39 homes and condominiums would be constructed.

Stephanie Gingerich, a community development analyst for the city, said the 23 homes along the block are worth more money than the planning department anticipated.

"We are fairly close," she said. "We are looking at a number of options right now. We will be bringing some possible options to the City Council pretty soon."

Homes on the avenue are being purchased by East Lansing in hopes that families — specifically those with children — will move into the area, which borders three schools.

The East Lansing City Council will consider acquiring two more properties along the avenue at its 7:30 p.m. meeting tonight at City Hall, 410 Abbott Road. The properties, located at 619 and 630 Virginia Ave., would be purchased for $110,000 and $170,000 respectively.

The city has acquired only one other home at 601 Virginia Ave. That property was purchased for $107,000.

According to previous city appraisals, the average rental home on the block is expected to sell for about $180,000, and an owner-occupied home will sell for between $110,000 to $155,000.

About three-fourths of the homes on Virginia Avenue are rentals, and many MSU students live on the block.

Although Gingerich wants to see the project come to fruition, it is being met with some opposition.

"We've had a couple people that have not been very interested in talking to our consultants," she said.

Cathy Baird, an Okemos resident who owns a rental property at 607 Virginia Ave., said she isn't interested in selling her property and that city officials need to mind their own business.

"We don't feel it's right to tear out housing in perfectly good condition," she said. "We also don't feel it's right to kick the students out. It's like kicking the poor people out of their houses to bring in the rich."

The appraisals done on the homes were fair, but the city is going to have to be willing to negotiate with all of the property owners, said Matt Hagan, an agent at East Lansing-based Hagan Realty, which owns two homes on the avenue.

Even if some people don't sell their homes to the city, the planning staff will work the project around the few remaining residences, Gingerich said.

"We have committed to doing the project, and we would modify our plan," she said. "We then would be looking at how to do the best project we can with what we have to work with."


  • Jarad,

    This isn't about this issue, but I see on the front page that you want Lansing news. You can easily read the LSJ online and get development news just as easily as you can the State News. For instance, the Stadium District ground breaking could have been a front page event on the website. You can also read the City Pulse, online, that often has development issues.
  • edited October 2006
    Man, I am just that deal. Well, I have tomorrows news for you today, at only 10:43 pm. See below:

    Virginia Avenue project may advance


    The State News

    Projects to revamp East Lansing's downtown and the 600 block of Virginia Avenue could gain some speed if the City Council moves them forward at its work session tonight.

    Three homes on Virginia Avenue could be purchased by the city. The properties are located at 625, 613 and 624 Virginia Avenue.

    The city is trying to acquire 23 houses along the 600 block to construct 39 new homes and condominiums. This would pave the way for families with children to move into the area and support the East Lansing Public Schools, whose enrollment has dwindled for the past 10 years.

    Officials from the East Lansing Department of Planning and Community Development did not return repeated calls for comment.

    The City Council will meet at 7 p.m. today in City Hall, 410 Abbott Road.
  • So how many do they still need to get?
  • Two homes are set to be demolished in February. The State News has an update on the Virginia Ave project: City Receives Updates on Projects
  • There is an article in today's LSJ about Virginia Ave: Lease is up

    They say that 14 of the 23 homes have been acquired.
  • Virginia Ave in the news again. It looks like the project will be scaled back to have 30 housing units: 16 homes and 14 townhouses. The project will likely be named "Avondale Square".

    More can be found at the State News website: http://www.statenews.com/article.phtml?pk=41015
  • Virginia Avenue project advances

    The State News

    The Virginia Avenue project took a major step forward when the East Lansing City Council approved three contracts for the project at its meeting Tuesday night.

    New City Property

    The city now is first in line to purchase 642 Virginia Ave.

    When the city purchases the lot, it will own the 80 percent of the land on the avenue's 600 block. Then, the East Lansing Planning Commission will review a final site plan for the project at its July 25 meeting.

    The city must buy the property by Aug. 31, or it will go on sale to the public. The council approved a contract to buy the home for $210,000.


    The council also approved a contract with MCS Excavating to demolish homes at 619, 643 and 648 Virginia Ave., as well as two properties on the avenue's northeast corner, to make way for the project.

    All five homes are owned by the city, and demolition is scheduled to begin within 15 days.

    Mixed reaction

    Mayberry Homes will build 30 homes and condominiums along both sides of ...

    Read the rest of the article.
  • On Tuesday's council meeting:
    Set for Public Hearing on October 2, 2007 an application to construct 30
    residential units on 3.39 acres along Virginia Avenue between Snyder Road
    and Burcham Drive. The plan consists of 16 single-family units, 2 tri-plex
    units, 2 four-plex units and two pocket parks consisting of .15 acres. The
    property is zoned in the R-2, Medium Density Single-Family Residential
    It looks like they will be moving ahead with the project now. The street doesn't look that good currently. It looks like an urban prairie block in Detroit with only a few houses standing and many vacant lots. I'm pretty curious with how they will pull off the project with the remaining homes that do not want to sell to the city.
  • Here is a picture of the lots available for development:

  • Nice, narrow lots, and some nice pocket parks. I wish more developments would look like this.
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