Ottawa block powers up
Gene Townsend’s Ottawa Block development grows cooler and grander. And spawns a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone.
It appears that Townsend’s new urbanism idea for Ottawa Block would significantly change the Genesee/ Downtown/Capitol Complex area. Townsend would build 76 condo miniums on the mostly vacant prop erty, bordered by Butler Boulevard and Ottawa, Ionia and Sycamore streets.
There’s also a planned mixed-use building, with loft-style condominiums above and retail on the ground floor, that would bring water to a residen tial desert, bordered on the south by a big parking lot and even bigger state government buildings. There’s also a planned Neighborhood Enterprise Zone that would encompass every thing between Saginaw Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Walnut Street (with a jog west on Shiawassee Street) and Pine Street. Residents, developers or prospective homebuy ers would be given tax breaks on new residential construction.
Since the project was announced, plans for Ottawa Block have changed. Townsend is predicting 76 condo miniums, 24 more than originally announced. The first 12 will go up mid block along Ottawa. We could start to see dirt being moved toward the end of the year, Townsend estimated.
One interesting part of the first building is that parking will go beneath it, slightly below street level. According to the Townsend’s plans, you wouldn’t be able to see any cars. Another hinge of the project, liter ally, is the mixed-use building at the corner of Ottawa and Sycamore. In earlier plans for the building, it faces Ottawa Street. But Townsend is con sidering changing the building into an “L” shape, so it would wrap around the corner of Ottawa and Sycamore. There would be 5,000 square feet of retail space, which would be room enough for four stores, with “very dramatic” two-floor lofts above.
And there are a number of apartment units in the Gateway. Good apartments are filling up pretty easily downtown.
If everything in both projects were to be for-sale condos, and he were to build all the units at once (which a bank would never let him do), then he'd be in trouble.
Lansing Development Project Gets Tax Assistance
A development project in downtown Lansing is a getting a financial boost from the state.
The project, a 5-acre residential and retail development, is bounded by Butler Boulevard and Ottawa, Sycamore and Ionia streets. Developer Gene Townsend hopes to start work on the project later this year.
The Michigan Economic development Corp. said today it will allow $1.1 million in state and local property tax money, collected from the project, to be used for site cleanup and other work.
The project includes 70 condominiums and a 5,000-square-foot retail center on Ottawa Street that would be completed in about three phases. It could take four years to finish the project, Townsend said.
The MEDC said 11 jobs will be created as a result of the $11.9 million development, which is expected to incorporate environmentally friendly elements, including public green space, energy efficiency and water-saving features.
The incentive approved Tuesday is just one part of a package of local and state incentives expected to be approved for the project.
New website for City Pulse which is interesting, but the link should still work. Supposed to see "dirt moving by the end of the year." 24 more condos than predicted (intersting since Capitol Club Tower just downsized 4 floors because of supposed weak demand). Good to hear it's moving forward.