Park Place West

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  • It is what it is... A box of apartments. I get why the developer wants to build it so badly, since these new apartments get like $1000 per bedroom. This "development" doesn't really add anything to the city except density, though. No one is asking to move the farmers market. Its current location is perfect, and it's all good vibes and smiles. No one wants to move it except this developer in an attempt to add some cultural value to the project.

    I think the city needs festival space, so maybe an ampitheater and organic connection into the park and existing market space is a better addition.
  • I continue to not be a fan of this project, it's as mediocre as they come. I like the scale and the height of it fine, it's the bland architecture and cheap materials I'm unimpressed with, I'm also not a fan of shutting down Evergreen there. I'd still rather see the city do an RFP for it's properties, I bet someone comes up with something significantly better than this.
  • Looks like the city transportation committee hadn't yet made a recommendation on the traffic study the developers submitted, so the planning commission couldn't vote on the site plan and special use permit at their Wednesday night meeting. lol So it has to go back before the commission at their next meeting.

    Next up is the review of the modified site plan, special use permit, and conditional rezoning by the DDA:

    https://eastlansing.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=424&meta_id=82585

    https://eastlansing.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=424&meta_id=82593

    The DDA is also considering an amendment to the purchase & sale and development agreements because of the delay and because of the modifications to the plan. On top of that, the rezoning of the site will be heard in front of city council at their September 10th meeting:

    https://eastlansing.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=1211&meta_id=82234

    So, many, many moving parts that aren't all on the same schedule, though it looks like the rezoning and site plan and special use permit could all hit council at their Septemer 10th meeting, which are the most important technical parts of this.

  • edited August 2019

    Well, this was unexpected, but I'm not really mad. The DDA voted tonight to end its exclusive purchase and sale agreement with Royal Vlahakis after they attempted to ask for another extension before the meeting, and will instead put out an RFP for the site next month. Doesn't mean Royal Vlahakis won't be chosen, but this stops this particular iteration of their proposal and it doesn't look good for their future chances.

    I'm glad they finally pulled the plug, quite frankly. This is what should have happened months ago. What I want the DDA and Planning Commission to stop holding up, though, is the rezoning of this site. It deserves a B3 (downtown) zoning, and I'm tired of "concerns" that that allows too much height on the site.

  • edited September 2019

    Not a surprise, the city council voted down the rezoning for the site. They seem to be adamant that no legit high-rises will rise on this property.

    It's currently zoned RM-32 which allows for a max of 6 stories or 70 feet. B-3 allows for a max of 140 feet, though only 112 feet in the district west of Abbot if it's mixed-use. So, we're not going to see anything over 6 stories on Evergreen unless the council has a change of heart.

    The funny thing is that despite the DDA pulling its development rights, and this denial of the zoning change, Vlahakis' plan is being given a public hearing for October 8th before the council, which seems crazy to me if all they are going to do is deny it.

  • I think it may be a good thing to limit height in that area, there is enough space elsewhere to build higher buildings, the Sawyer's lot on E Michigan comes to mind . This plan would have created a dark street of shadow canyons, and a lot more vehicles in that neighborhood.

  • In my opinion, this is exactly where you'd want a taller building since the shadows it be casting for at least half of the day would be on the park.

    BTW, the downtown zoning is only for the downtown. This and East Village are the only areas in the city zoned for any kind of height, and it's meant that was exactly so as not to cast shadows and such on residential streets.

  • Crazy, crazy, crazy. The DDA has switched course at a special meeting last night, entered into a buy-and-sell agreement with the developers for the site, and is now recommending the council approve the site plan for the project that is up tonight.

    https://cityofeastlansing.civicweb.net/document/5453/Consideration of a site plan and special use pe.pdf?handle=5DA8E91FE9864E32AB456EC7478FA0E0

    So, where we are, now, is that the planning commission voted 1-7 for recommending disapproval, and the DDA now voting 7-3 for recommending approval. This is after the council rejected the rezoning, last month.

    I have no idea how this is going to turn out. lol
  • I really hope they do not move forward with moving the farmers market from Valley Court Park to this development. We saw what Lansing did to their city market when it was essentially taken over by a private company and I expect that if the East Lansing farmers market moves it will also die.
  • To be clear, the Lansing City Market was never taken over by anyone; the same agency that managed and operated the facility before they moved governed them after they moved. I'd say the two things that killed the market was the general size (it's was smaller than the old market), and that the agency mananging it changed the direction of its mission and philosophy.

    Another thing is that it sounds like the East Lansing Farmer's Market isn't being brought indoors, rather will use the outdoor area that will be the pedestrianized Evergreen (which will still be city land), while the area inside will be the restaurant incubator, unless I read something incorrectly.

    I'm kind of ambivalent about whether that would be good or bad for the market; personally, I think they can make it work, either way. The question is always about whether the mission will remain the same. If it will, they can make it work, anywhere, so long as the size is at least as large as the former space.

    I actually like the idea of using the ground floor as the restaurant incubator tied to the university; I think that's really creative. Though, there does seem to be some debate over how committed the university would be to this concept.
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