The Abbot & The Graduate (Park District)

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  • Any one have updated photos of these projects or an aerial of downtown east lansing now a days ?
  • I don't have pictures but as of yesterday the Abbot was up to 9 floors, 4 more to go, the elevator towers are close to topped out. Work seems to have slowed or stalled on the Graduate, the elevator cores haven't risen in weeks and the forms were removed from one. The floor for the third level looks like it had been poured at least a couple weeks ago also, I'm assuming the building will be built with the same pre-fab walls as other recent projects from the third floor up.

    I'm usually not out that way during the day but if I can grab pics I will.
  • For whatever reason, The Abbot's social media doesn't update construction process like the others one's did. It's also pretty hard for the average person to get good angles for this one given it's location. I've only ever been able to capture it while driving.
  • edited November 2019
    Looks like the planning commission voted to recommend approval for the revised Park District apartment building (Building C) at 314-345 Evergreen.

    In other news, City Council and the DDA held a joint meeting this week to discuss the redevelopment of the Evergreen properties across the street from Building C. Here is what was discussed: https://us17.campaign-archive.com/?u=d99498ce3806962a5ede26662&id=c829c6bb46
    For the first time, Council held a special joint meeting with the DDA to discuss the DDA-owned Evergreen Avenue properties (314, 328, 334, 340 and 344 Evergreen Ave.) and the draft RFQP for that area. The meeting provided an opportunity for the DDA to hear what Council would like to see in that area and vice versa. East Lansing Planning, Building and Development Director Tom Fehrenbach provided a brief overview prior to the discussion between the Council and DDA. Fehrenbach explained that the properties are located just north of the Park District buildings that are currently under construction along Grand River Avenue and the current buildings on the properties are rentals. Income from those rentals are currently offsetting the DDA's debt on the properties, which totals approximately $5.5 million. City staff has also identified approximately $3.5 million worth of infrastructure improvement needs in that area. Fehrenbach explained that the City will either need to self-fund the infrastructure improvements or partner with a new development project and utilize Tax Increment Financing (TIF) benefits. Fehrenbach also noted that Convexity Properties (the current developer of the Park District project along Grand River Avenue) has submitted a letter of intent to purchase the properties for a proposed redevelopment project that would include conversion of Building C of the Park District project to park land, 230 units of mixed-market residential, a seven- to 10-story building and an expanded TIF plan to cover infrastructure, park improvements and other eligible activities. View Fehrenbach's full presentation from last night's meeting here.

    Following Fehrenbach's presentation, the Councilmembers and DDA members shared their thoughts on what they would like to see happen in that area. Multiple DDA members shared concerns about the debt and said that eliminating that debt was their top priority. There were also a number of Councilmembers that expressed they were not committed to requiring retail on the ground floor of a development project in that area. Parking in that area was also a concern raised by Councilmember Meadows and some DDA members. Mayor Beier, with agreement from Councilmember Meadows, noted she doesn't want to see student housing in that area, citing the abundance of student housing that is already currently available in the region. There was also discussion of conducting an appraisal of the properties (a suggestion raised by Councilmember Babcock) concurrently with the RFQP if it moves forward.

    DDA Chair Peter Dewan thanked Council for the meeting and said "We have been at this for a long time, having conversations about the Evergreen properties and what is the right thing to do in this area of the downtown. There have been a variety of different types of proposals that have been submitted. I wasn’t part of the DDA when the City acquired these properties, but nonetheless, since my service on the DDA, we have been trying to figure out what is the right thing to do. Having this open dialogue is really, truly appreciated."

    The DDA will be discussing both the RFQP and Convexity's letter of intent at its regular meeting on Thursday, Nov. 21 at noon in Conference Room A.

    We essentially find that Convexity wants to develop the property, but I bet the council decideds to go with an RFP. Here is the rendering for what Convexity wants to do:

    https://eastlansing.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=427&meta_id=84878

    The EastLansingInfo on the joint meeting between the DDA and City Council on this land show they have opinions all over the place:

    https://eastlansinginfo.org/content/looking-solve-evergreen-problem-council-and-dda-meet-first-time

    It seems on the DDA side the opinion is not to put too many conditions on what can be developed, and maximizing land use so whatever is built could put a major dent in the $5.5 million of debt on the land. The three quoted city councillers earlier in the piece - which would constitute a majority - want a lot of conditions on the land (no student housing), and at least seem to be implying they don't want anything of any height or size, here. On the other hand and surprisingly to me, new Councilwoman Jessy Gregg said she actually likes the sizeable proposal by Convexity, and what's to see something in that vein.

    So, who knows? lol This has been a mess for over half-a-decade.
  • Yes, this site is really a big "wow look at that!" moment when driving east on Michigan Avenue.
  • It looks like the apartments are going up faster than the hotel. I like the very large windows that can open for fresh air. Those folks will have a great view!
  • edited February 13
    Just think of what this area will look like in 5+ years, once the DDA properties get upsized... and if the Delta area and the underutilized parcels between the Hopcat building and the DDA properties finally get developed, this area could end up looking surprisingly urban!
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