General East Lansing Development

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  • edited March 14

    EastLansingInfo is reporting that Core Spaces, the group building The Hub, are planning on building a similar building (residential only, not mixed use) directly to the south of The Hub along Bogue Street.

    It is very early still, but the ground floor would be rowhouses with apartments on higher floors. The form-based zoning doesn't require retail along Bogue.

    The Hub is built for about 600 beds. If this development is built to the same height, then it may be around 650 beds considering the first floor can be residential.

    https://eastlansinginfo.org/content/another-big-student-housing-project-east-lansing

  • I hadn't been really worried before, but it seems like they may be overbuilding student housing. Everything under construction or planned save for the Newman Lofts which is reserved for 55+ is either all student housing or has almost all of their units marketed toward students. And this is before you add in Skyvue and whatever's going up on the Red Cedar. Dropping an extra 600 beds on top of that...I don't know.

    I just hope that there is some understanding of what's going on in the market. Not that the developers don't, but they don't care if their future tenants come from out of the area or if they are just cannibalizing existing properties (particularly on the Northern Tier, which has already been in something of a decline), and, well, a city has to care because of the associated problems you get when the demand isn't really there anymore and you're just playing musical chairs.

    And this is before we even get to talking about the council's stance. They were pretty skeptical of The Hub to begin with, and they had to jump through a lot of extra hoops to get it built. I wonder if they'll share the same concerns with this one? Seems kind of strange for someone as pro-development as me to begin to get worried about this, but I wonder if maybe the city puts it out there that they want fewer beds dropped at one time? Hundreds a pop in each of these developments are a lot when you consider the student population is pretty stagnant.

    Anyway, I'll wait and see. I'd much rather this stuff be built in the central areas than out on old farm fields and pastures in the Northern Tier. And should demand begin to fall in a few years, I'd think it much easier and more desirable for those properties in the central areas to be converted to regular market-rate apartments and our senior housing, which is on the demand. Just kind of wish there was city plan for student housing instead of having to rely on the "Trust us"s of the private developers.

  • It's a lot of beds, but MSU enrollment hasn't exactly been decreasing. I think this is more an issue for the outer apartment complexes, which will have to cut rates to be competitive. I think Lansing's East Side will still be desirable for those who work in EL and students who want to live in a SFH without paying a significant premium.

    But this is purely speculation from a layman, these people may have a better grasp on housing demands then I do.

  • I don't recall council having to jump through many hoops for The Hub. The only one I remember is that they wanted reduced parking requirements.

    I think these proposals are great for the city. As already said, they are proposed in the right locations that will always be in high demand, and the outer apartment complexes most likely will slowly convert over to non-students and family housing. The downside is there is no public elementary school near the Northern Tier, only that one charter school that just opened.

    Basically, I don't think the mistakes of the past (and still-ongoing present) should prevent the right things from being built today.

    The other positive that this will bring is some much needed housing for young professionals who have just graduated from MSU but want to stay in the area. These buildings may not be targeted today for that demographic, but when that group reaches enough demand the housing will already be in place for them.

  • edited March 14

    I went and read the full article. It appears the city council is actually now very firmly behind these kind of developments. I was kind of surprised. Thinking back, it was really the planning commission that tried to slow-walk The Hub; didn't they even originally recommend it for rejection?

    Anyway, they did bring up some of the concerns I shared, but they seem pretty confident.

    The Hub will add rental housing for about 600 students this fall, while the Landmark will add rental apartments for about 500 more people. DRW Convexity’s Park District project, now underway at the northwest corner of Abbot Road and Grand River Avenue, will add about another 400. That will open in 2020.

    If approved as proposed, the Royal Vlahakis project for the area around Dublin Square would add another 500 apartments, including about 80 for-purchase condos with the rest being rentals. That would mean housing for about a thousand more people in the one-block radius of Abbot Road that will include the Landmark and the DRW/Convexity project.

    Just over the west border of East Lansing, developers are looking to build apartments for a thousand student renters in the Red Cedar project of Lansing.

    I think they mean beds, but in any case, that is would a lot of housing to be dropped on the market pretty much all at once for any city. I just hope that the city infrastucture in the area is ready for all of this. I don't think it's unreasonable to be concerned about this kind of thing when you're adding this many new residents this quickly. Like I said, I just want to see the city plan more carefully. Seems to me that they went from trying to keep development out of downtown to basically allowing anything and everything almost overnight.

    Anyway, anyone know the specific address of the property we're talking about for this new one?

  • Read through the February 26th minutes of the planning commission on the ordinance to apply a 160-foot height limit to most of downtown where a 140-foot height limit currently exists. As I predicted back when they held the public hearing on this one last month, they recommended council deny this ordinance on a 1-8 vote. This sets the ordinance up for an April 9th city council public hearing.

    Not much else is up, generally, in next weeks city council and planning commission meetings.

  • I took a bone-rattling trip to the PO on Collins Rd. and then to Bell's Pizza, [huge car eating potholes everywhere!] from Bells I could get a good view of The Hub. It looks huge but seems to be fitting into its space. There a lot of big windows which is nice but due to the design many windows look directly into the windows of the neighboring apartments. Maybe students don't care about something like that but I do not think I would like the view. For folks who don't live there, I think it will be a nice building to look at while driving by or waiting for pizza.

  • Very nicely done! 👏👏👏 This is a great format for a small urban grocer, especially as they will soon have to compete with Target.

  • East Lansing appears to recap its council meetings the day after. In something of a surprise to me, anyway, for what I thought was the endangered 160-foot height overlay district for downtown passed 3-2.

    https://us17.campaign-archive.com/?u=d99498ce3806962a5ede26662&id=6931f16fab

    This clears the way for Park Place if they change their minds and want to got back to their taller design. Honestly, this is just good policy. It also doesn't mean 160-foot buildings are going to suddenly be popping up everywhere, as it would still require a super-majority on council to approve of a project of this site.

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