Old Town Lansing



  • Work has been going on for awhile, but I guess this was the formal announcement of the work:

    $10.5 million renovation underway on Temple Building in Old Town
    A $10.5 million project that will transform Old Town's Temple Building into an apartment building with commercial and office space on the first floor began this month, developer Michigan Community Capital said.

    The Temple Building, at 502 E.César E.Chávez Avenue, had been empty for nearly a decade and was described as "functionally obsolete" before crews broke ground on the project.

    Michigan Community Capital plans to build 31 market-rate apartments along with 3,000 square feet of first-floor office space and 960 square feet of first-floor commercial space.
  • I was taking the High Street short cut to Lake Lansing Rd. and noticed that they were pouring foundations at two recently vacated lots on the east side of the street near the community center. It was a bit surprising to see what I think will be new homes going up on this street. Most tear- downs leave an empty lot. More of this would be good.
    Also on the north side, I have noticed two apartment complexes being renovated with government assistance. There are billboards listing the government agencies involved. One is at 516 [I think] E Saginaw next to the QD there, and the other on Willow "the Willow Vista Apartments" across from the new Willow Street Apartments.
    Over at The Abigale, I believe they are renting the senior apartments now. I really like the renovation of this building. They kept many architectural details like the big windows. I am going to look into a rental there if I don't buy a house, The Fountain Place is showing its age this past year, with lots of issues with the heat and elevators, etc... Now they are going to install new elevators which are located just outside my door and it will take six months! Time to move on!
  • edited December 2020
    The one at 516 West Saginaw is Ferris Manor Apartments. The Capital Area Housing Partnership renovated this one. It's subsidized housing. CAHP kind of does it all, affordable/subsidized housing, counseling for first-time homebuyers, counseling and classes on home rehabs, financial workshops, etc. They are the ones involved with the old Walter French building. Looks like Willow Vista was rehabed from June to December of this year. It's good to see these subsidized housing being kept up/reused.

    Ha! Looking at the homes you're talking about on High Street, they are being built by...the Capital Area Housing Partnership. They were issued building permits on the third. What are the chances you'd come across all of these projects? lol Looks like the county land bank sold CAHP the lots back in September.
  • I had a friend that lived in Fountain Place for many years and left a year or so ago. He hated the lack of maintenance, the cheap construction and the rising rent. Its too bad its not better maintained given its location and size.

    I even looked at it when the rent was really cheap in 2007, but it was even better to just buy a reasonable house in the Westside Neighborhood!
  • I would say in defence of The Fountain Place it has been a pretty good place to live these past few years, there was a really nice manager here who really did respond to issues, she actually cared about the residents and fostered a sense of community. They would have pot-lucks and BBQs and events like that. They had replaced the windows, AC's dishwasher fridge disposal, and even the stove since we have been here. They do have a hard time keeping the maintenance people as they offer really low wages. Of course, the good stuff all ended with the pandemic and that coincided with the old boilers and elevators starting to break down regularly. The nice features like the pool and gym were closed and people got grumpy about it all. This leads to our nice manager up and leaving in the middle of the night last month! Anyway, I would also like to get away from the drama of this building [it's not a bad place to live I'm just over it] and the noise and pollution of S Washington Ave., a little house on the west side is just what I have in mind.
  • Thanks for the info about the new housing and apartment rehabs. I have the time so I often take creative ways through neighborhoods streets to get up to my favorite MMJ shop on the far north side, I do not need the speed of Cedar and Saginaw! It's what I call fun! and I hope you all enjoy my posts about the projects I pass around town.
  • Yeah, I've heard Fountain Place is management is actually better than it was say 10-15 years ago. We had a family friend and her husband who lived there years ago. She enjoyed the views - she liked to people watch on Washington from her apartment - and convenience. Certainly better than that building across the street, unless they've finally gotten better management.

    I think another part of the improvement has simply been the (relative) gentrification of the area which has brought in a different kind of tenant. When I was younger and the Deluxe Inn was still in operation, I wouldn't say the area had a horrible reputation (though the Deluxe Inn by itself did), but REO Town - before it had this name - it was definitely a kind of sketchy area. Compared to then, it's a quiet area.
  • I would actually recommend this building in the future when the elevators and boiler will have been repaired, and they reopen the pool and gym. It is a little scruffy around the edges, not every apartment has granite countertops, and I think the rear apts. maybe noisier than the front because you would have people on both sides. The rent is reasonable although they do put in small rent increases every year. The view is the one thing I would miss, I have witnessed so much looking out my window these past five years, lots of human dramas and also the many positive changes here in REOtown. Seeing the Amtrak train passing by in one of my favorite sights every day, during all this mess it was very reassuring to see the train still running.
  • At The Temple building they have begun installing windows and replaced the cornice [the right word?] around the top with vintage style moldings. That looks good, the windows are kind of basic, and there is a cement structure behind on Cedar St. that may be the parking area. It may not be finished but it is kind of ugly in its present state.
    Down the street Bradly's [home fashions] shop moved into the much larger "Marquee" store front; they were not open yet when I was by, but it looks really nice.
  • It's nice to hear the Temple building is moving along. Yeah, the decorative part around the top is the cornice and yes, the cement structure behind is a two floor parking ramp; I'm also not sure how it will be finished.
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