Red Cedar Renaissance

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  • edited April 18

    It hasn't been posted online yet, but it appears the Lansing City Pulse is confirming that the developers have assauged enough of the council doubter's concerns that it looks like they'll have a majority to approve the rest of the steps the project needs to go through. Most notably, the developer promises no studio apartments. I'm not happy with this kind of micro-managing, and I don't see how gets toward their goal of not having these marketed as students since "student apartments" are almost always multiple bedroom units. But, whatever.

    And it appears when interviewed, 1st Ward councilwoman Washington just came straight out and said:

    "I will never approve student housing west of where this project is going. I'll bite the bullet on this one, but never again."

    I've never voted for here or like her, anyway, but this kind of extremism and fundamentalism would be totally disqualifying for me if I was an undecided voter. The problem with Lansing isn't that we have too much student housing, it's entirely the opposite. The city's decade's-long ambivalence and sometimes even outright hostility to having one of the largest university's in the nationa next door has been a major missed opportunity for this metro. The problem isn't that there is too much student housing in Lansing, it's that we've never even tried to attract them. It's probably been the biggest sin we've ever committed as a metro; it's exactly why we are so far behind places like Madison and Columbus. Lansing would be so lucky as to have developed a student neighborhood on the eastside.

    Early filing show some folks running against Washington this year; I hope they are credibly, because I'll literally vote for anyone other than her at this point.

    Edit: Here's the story online:

    After 6 years, Red Cedar looks ready to roll

    And more quotes about the ridiculous prejudice against student housing:

    >

    Hussain, Patricia Spitzley, Garza and Spadafore voiced concern last week over student housing and the uncertain plan for market-rate units.

    >

    Garza previously voiced concerns over the concentration of student housing within the development plans.

    >

    “I'll never approve student housing west of where this project is going,” Washington said. “I'll bite the bullet on this one, but never again."

    >

    “I remain troubled by the fact that we are looking at a $100 million tax abatement to build student housing and parking along the river, effectively extending the downtown of East Lansing with little to no benefit to current Lansing residents.” Spadafore added this week.

    Yes, Pete, having hundreds of new students within the city limits offers "no benefit" to current Lansing residents...you know, beyond hundreds of new students paying income taxes providing more vitality and redevelopment opportunities for Frandor, etc...and these the people leading the city.

  • You raise a good point. Just what is it that makes people think to have students included as potential tenants, is such a bad thing? It's true that Lansing should have a "college town" on the east side. I have heard that several years ago when Cooley Law School had thousands of more students attending classes downtown, there were bars and clubs more restaurants and more people on the streets at night. When the school downsized many of those places closed. In my building there are students and they add some life to the place, it is nice to say hello to a young person once in a while. None of them are the "burn the couch" types and the only time a police action has ever taken place here, it was a 40 -year old and a 68-year-old off meds[went crazy] and resisting arrest that was the reason the police showed up. I don't think they will be renting the fancy new places in EL to couch burners. We already have a real wall between Lansing and East Lansing with 127, I think Ms. Washington is trying to keep the myth alive that MSU students should stay east of it. Speaking of 127, I was wondering if they are still planning to improve the landscaping at the Michigan Ave. underpass. the murals and lights look great, but there still needs to be some landscaping and maintenance[last summer weeds and grass partly covered the murals] for this to be a welcoming gate to Lansing.

  • edited April 23

    In a 7-1 vote tonight, the city council has approved the development agreement amendment and browfield plan for this one, the two largest hurdles for the project:

    MONDAY, April 22 — Developers are one step closer to construction at the former Red Cedar Golf Course after the Lansing City Council voted 7-1 tonight to approve a development plan and tax incentives for the project.

    Only At-large member Peter Spadafore opted to vote against the long-sought agreement with Continental-Ferguson LLC. to transform the abandoned golf course along Michigan Avenue into a mixed-use, $250 million, super-development.

    “I think every argument made against this has truly been put to bed,” said Councilman Adam Hussain.

    This sets the development up for a summer start.

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