Old Town Lansing

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  • News on the Temple Club:

    Historic Temple Building in Old Town to get $9 million renovation
    THURSDAY, OCT. 9 — Lansing is poised to approve yet another “brownfield” redevelopment plan, this time for a $9 million renovation of the historic Bethlehem Temple Building in Old Town.

    Michigan Community Capital purchased the building in February and plans to add retail and office space to the first floor, along with 31 residential apartments on the upper floors for the “Temple Lofts.” The Lansing nonprofit investment group will also construct a two-story parking garage next to the 1906 building at 502 E. Cesar Chavez Ave. Work should begin in the spring and take about 18 months.
  • I would think that the apartments could be very large in this building due to its shape creating a large interior space. It is very good news that this building is being renovated, and I am hoping it looks better than the depiction.
  • edited October 2019
    I thought exactly the opposite, that 31 apartments for a building of this size sounds like very small apartments. The brownfield plan shows that they will be quite small. They are branded "workforce" units, which are very small and cheap apartments. The building is only 11,656 sq ft, and 6,000 sq ft of that is the ground floor commercial (though also that an additional floor or two will be built), so we're talking about some relatively small residential units.

    Seems that this is the new trend in the city, right now. I think it's a good concept, but I question using our limited amount of historic buildings for these kind of units. I tend to think these are a better fit as new construction buildings, and that the higher-priced stuff can go in the historic buildings to be better able to keep up the costs that come with historic properties.

    Still, I guess this increases density that we need in the center of town. I'm also pleased that there will finally be a small parking garage in the district, though it sounds like it will only be for the property. In all actually they could take care of the entire district's parking needs if the city was ever able to get its hand on the Friedland site.
  • Thanks, I had not noticed the number of apartments, which sounds like a lot considering how many windows there are and the building is almost a square. Maybe workers of the force will only need one window!
  • My guess is that like with a lot of these older buildings, they will carve out a light court from the second floor up, that's really the only way you're going to get 31 apartments in this building.
  • I was over at Preuss Pets this weekend and noticed they have put up a construction fence and closed the sidewalks around the Temple Building on Cesar Chaves at Cedar. It looks like this project is getting underway, which I believe means that these developers and business people are already looking towards better times when I think there is going to be a big market for apartment rentals. I believe the work from home habits will continue for a lot of people and they will want a nice place to work and live in.
  • They have a billboard fence surrounding the "temple building" depicting the project. It looks nice. Up, on Turner and Willow, there is a renovation going on in an old service station, the one with the stucco walls. That place looks to have been vacant for a long time, it is interesting to see something going in there.
  • Do you mean Turner and North? Willow is on the other side of the river. I can't find a project for the one at Turner and North, though. Maybe it's in the really early stages.
  • Yup sorry! it is a little confusing to me up there, but yes it's on the N W corner of North and Turner. The windows were newly boarded up and it looked like some excavation and interior cleanout had started. I would venture to guess it may be a pot shop, there were a couple in that neighborhood in the pre-regulation old days, three years ago.
    I was also by the new apartment buildings on W Ottawa on my trip to the north side, they are still very unattractive I guess is what I want to say. I can not think of what "style" or design they were trying to build but it looks pretty cheap to me. They are spending some money on landscaping, a brim or hill now blocks the view of the parking area from Ionia Street and a lot of large trees have been planted.
    The new building on N. Washington and Saginaw is also really taking shape, it looks very interesting and contemporary and will look good sitting up on the hill there.
  • Okay, I thought you were talking about the old service station across the street on the southwest corner. There is a project filed last week with the city for the northwest corner, but it doesn't say what it's going to be. It's a facade restoration and includes new doors and windows. The owner name doesn't bring up what the business is, though.
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