Park Place West



  • From the article above was also include the site plan for the two structures that I hadn't first noticed:

    The tallest building is now proposed to rise 186 feet in height total. Even without the elevator overun and penthouse it's 176 feet. I'm curious how they don't think that's going to cause some controversy. Even with the height overlay proposal that would raise downtown's height limit to 160, this is still well over that.

  • I'm pretty happy with this proposal overall. They're fairly bland but decent looking buildings and the addition of a proper multi screen movie theater to downtown EL is a really good thing.

    Hopefully they allow it to go through at this height. It would set a good precedent as I'd still like to see and even taller building at the Grand River & Michigan triangle.

  • I believe as this one looks like it will be a glass-sided it will be reflecting a lot of sunlight into the neighborhood. This may help to mitigate the shadow canyon effect that we are going to find on Albert and Abbot streets area.
    My apartment faces east and the building across the street facing west where the sun reflects off the windows in the later afternoon filling my building with afternoon sunlight on the east side. Perhaps sunlight reflectors could be positioned at other points and buildings to help with the shadows. Albert is already dark in the afternoon in many places.

  • Yes, I like this proposal a lot. But it does seem that the developers of this proposal know that the city is in a bind and are thus asking for the whole house. In the proposal, they are using the City Hall West parking lot as an entrance to their parking, turning Evergreen road in to a greenway (nice but still more use of public land to benefit themselves), and putting their retention basin in Valley Court Park (may be underground).

    I'm not sure how common it is to use the underground portions of park land for private use. If paid for through some lease agreement that benefits the city tax payers then it may not be so bad.

    Does anyone know of any parks around here that have something similar? I guess there is the park in East Lansing off of Burcham that has the solar panels.

  • I respect them for working over the City a little bit. The developers are (I think) or at least should be running the show in East Lansing. The City could have gotten in the game twenty years ago, but instead they pushed that sprawl on the northside. Now they should have very little voice when it comes to the development of downtown.

    More importantly, all the things you mentioned seem to be positive for the city. Storing the water under the park (where no one will know that it's there) is WAY better than dumping directly into the sewer system. This a smart, ecologically sensitive approach. I don't understand how Evergreen could turn into a greenway.....but greenways are still public space and that has to be a good thing. I didn't even know city hall had parking west of Abbott. I hope the development includes a really grand staircase from Abbott down to the park. I hope they wipe out that parking lot entirely and make this a greenway connection.

  • The staircase from Evergreen up to Abbot that is there today connects to this west parking lot. Its a small lot and looks like it's part of the ATT building.

    I don't recall seeing a staircase to replace the one they're removing. I do really like the proposal for the reasons you mentioned.
  • edited January 2019

    MJ - having developers run the show would be just as bad, in many ways, as having the city micromanage all projects. Both are extreme approaches to development, and both lead to unwanted, unintended outcomes, like ugly, cheap looking buildings (current Park District), or shabby, poorly regulated rental districts (like the EL student rentals in the old historical districts), or financial boondoggles that put taxpayers on the hook for decisions made years or even decades in the past (Avondale square, the DDA properties in downtown EL, etc.).

    FYI, I don't have a problem with developers using public resources as part of their projects, as long as they use them fairly and pay their fair share. Far too often, what happens is that developers "squat" on public space during the building phase, they tear up roads with heavy truck traffic, and have a lot of other bad behaviors that makes them money, but shortchange and inconvenience the local taxpayers who are the ones paying for those public resources.

  • edited January 2019

    In something of a surprise, the two generally pro-development councillers seem to oppose this project at its current size and height, while a more development-skeptic counciller is on the other side. Weird.

    BTW, the developers have submitted yet another revision showing a slightly shorter tallest building, and a slightly taller shortest building:

    Looks like a reduction of around 7 feet for whatever reason for the tallest building, and an increase of 10 feet for the shorter building.

  • Some of the pages read proposed for "Meridian Township" Michigan. No big deal to me but wrong.

  • edited January 2019

    Mich - I don't see this as much of a surprise. Meadows and Altman are desperate to rid the city of past sins, and cover up its recent history of terrible financial management, no matter what the cost. Beier always seems to be along for the ride with them, although she is generally anti-development. Dreheim and Stephens are generally more thoughtful and measured about their support.

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