Block600 (600 East Michigan)



  • That's great to hear. Thanks for the follow up.
  • edited April 2019

    Demolition looks to have started today, specifically on the warehouse structure behind the buildings fronting Michigan.

    Edit: The City Pulse did a story on this.

    Contractors prep downtown Meijer site

    TUESDAY, April 2 — A downtown grocery store in Lansing is a step closer.

    Demolition has begun to clear the site of the Gillepsie Co.’s mixed use project that will include hotel and apartments along with a mini-Meijer.

    Five large excavators rolled onto the corner of Michigan Avenue and Larch Street last month. Fencing was put up around the site last week. Signs went up this morning and the backside of Brogan’s tire and auto service came down today. Groundbreaking is expected this month, sources said, wih completion late next year.

    “If we don’t hit that date, we’re in trouble,” Pat Gillespie said previously. “We’ll need to start the project by April.”


    The hotel will be developed by nationally known Concord Hospitality, the management team behind familiar names like Hyatt, Couryard and Renaissance and will include between 120 to 125 rooms. The name of the hotel has remained a secret but could likely be revealed at Gillespie’s upcoming plans for an announcement.

    Another 36 to 40 apartments will also be merged into the structure for those seeking the “downtown living experience.” Gillespie said nearly all of them will likely become one-bedroom apartments to help meet the market demand. A stairwell will also allow residents direct access to Meijer without ever stepping outside.

    I noticed a whole lot of dust and debris blowing through the air during this initial demolition work that got blown into the neighborhood to the southeast. I hope they are required to get this under control as they continue demolition work.

    A good thing I saw, however, is that the bus stop on Michigan in front of the site is still being used quite consistently. This is going to be so awesome when completed.

  • I have noticed the billboards around town about this project, and they still have this dark colored building depicted. I am hoping for some better drawings of this project when he makes the big announcement! This will be another corner of Larch/Cedar there could be a four-way all stop for pedestrians crossing.

  • I am looking forward to going to the Meijers here. I am over going to Krogers on Holmes and S. Washington. Just yesterday I was advised by the cashier to duck for cover in fear of guns coming out during a fight between to women. I don't know what it is about that place but folks flip out regularly. It is really the only place in Lansing that I have been where this crazy stuff goes on. It will be nice to go to a new store that is closer to my place. It is really great that they are including a grocery store in this new development as it will be a place, that I and other local people can go.

  • edited April 2019

    I'd noticed last evening while coming up Larch that they'd already cleared all of the old houses on Barnard Street, it looks like. This one is going to go fast, I think, particularly since Meijer is beyond eager to open from the sound of it.

  • We got an announcement of the hotel this one landed:

    Courtyard by Marriott will be the first full-service hotel to open downtown in 33 years

    LANSING -- For the first time in more than three decades, downtown Lansing will welcome a new full-service hotel.

    Lansing's Gillespie Group and Concord Hospitality, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, announced Thursday that a Courtyard by Marriott will anchor development on the 600 block of East Michigan Avenue.

    The hotel, downtown's first to open since 1986, is expected to have up to 124 rooms and open in "late 2020," according to a news release.

    It will also include a a bar and lounge, lobby, outdoor patio space, fitness center and three meeting spaces, the news release said.

    The project also has a new name: Block600

  • edited April 2019

    Not any new news, but something I got curious about. Since I drive by the site most days, I was curious how high the hill was on Barnard Street at the back of the site, and went into Google Earth to find out. Seems like the elevation difference between the peak of the hill and the lowest point along Larch is nearly 25 feet, and the difference between the hill and Michigan Avenue is 18 feet. I'm really interested to see how they are going to deal with this since the main auto access/exit to/from the site will be off Barnard. They have done some leveling, but I doubt they are going to take 25 feet of elevation off the back of the site.

    It would have been nice given this hill if they'd have put some of the parking underground; I still don't quite understand why they didn't given the size of the site and its topographical features.

  • It is interesting when you come across a hill or high bank in Lansing as the landscape seems so flat around here. It would be a good idea to take advantage of that height with underground parking and apartments with a great view on top. Is that whole Barnard St area going to be surface parking?
    On googlemaps, the street looks like a little green island in the middle of an industrial zone. In the past, they seemed very willing to cut these neighborhoods into pieces or wall them off to accommodate the needs of traffic. The neighborhood on the other side of Kalamazoo the Beech St area is also very isolated. A nice way to reconnect these neighborhoods might be a trolly/bud-car/little train line from North Lansing through Downtown all the way south to Holt. I know we talked about this before, just brainstorming while again looking at the rail line that could connect and spur growth in the neighborhoods around new stations.

  • edited April 2019

    Barnard is an interesting little case of a neighborhood which held out. Whenever they zoned the city (probably the 60's, but I'm not sure), basically the entire area between Larch and the railroad tracks from the Larch Street viaduct in northern Lansing all the way down to Kalamazoo was zoned industrial with few exceptions; all of the homes, the commerical businesses, everything.

    Since single-family homes aren't allowed in industrially zone districts - not even as special uses - every home along Barnard has been considered to be a "nonconformity" since the area was zoned. Nonconformities have certain restrictions on them as a way to apply some amount of pressure to eventually get the area to redevelop as part of its zoning district. For instance, while a single-family home may continue to operate as such, there is a monetary limit to how much it can be renovated/rebuilt/etc. If a home is abandoned, however, there is a period of time (6 months to a year depending on the class of nonconformity) by which it must be reoccupied to continue as a residential single-family home. After that, the property must be used or redeveloped with an industrial usage.

    Long story short, looks like most of the homes of Barnard were continuously occupied as residential properties for decades untill Gillespie Group finally bought them out wholesale a year or two ago. It's apparent when the city was zoned they a.) didn't want homes right off the railroad tracks and b.) wanted industrial uses along the railroad tracks probably to make sure they didn't set up in residential neighborhoods. Both are completely understandable.

    With deindustrialization, though, it really doesn't make sense, anymore, to keep this land zoned industrial as the rule rather than the exception. Should the city ever get its attention back to the Form Base Code it drafted, this would take a lot of guess work and extra steps out of redevelopment this area long Larch as this entire are gets some form of "urban" downtown zoning in the new code, which allows a whole host of uses from residential to industrial.

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