The city got back to me today. The general contractor is Spence Brothers. Apparently, they are a Michigan-based company, though it doesn't look like they've done much work in Mid-Michigan.
There are a lot of what if's. I think that the college could have grown out of the Sparrow Nurses School and created a "college town" along East Michigan and back into the Eastern High/Boys Reform school area. The farms for the college might have been on the north side of that area.
In East Lansing, the farms might have located further to the south, to allow the community to surround the main campus on the south and west sides, and maybe the campus could have crossed Grand River between Hagadorn and Bouge and the town grow out in all directions from there.
Progress has been moving fairly quickly on this building. The site is fully excavated, some of the footings look complete, a tower crane was put up last week and it looks like there's a base for a second tower crane that I'd expect to be put up anytime. If the Park District gets underway this year there could be 4-5 large tower cranes along that less than 1 mile stretch of Grand River. That would be kinda impressive to see.
EastLansingBuzz has weekly construction pictures of Center City and The Hub. I wasn't quite able to tell from last week's update if they've been driving piles for The Hub, but they do say excavation is just about complete and the major thing right now is the construction of the second tower crane.
I just drove by this AM. Didn't look like piles had been put in yet.
Thanks. I wrote the email address for the city for these projects, and what the construction manager for The Hub said is that excavation is basically complete and that they didn't have to drive any piles because the earth retention piles were "auger cast" (drilled) with post-installed boards to retain the earth. They then said they are currently installing "footings and spread footings."
Someone who knows construction jargon better than I do can figure out what that means, but what they made clear is that they'd already started building the foundation before they'd even finished excavation.
EDIT: Did a little research. Auger-cast piles are drilled rather driven into the ground. The weird thing is that spread footings are another type of foundation. Is it common to have two different foundation types for a high-rise?
I took this picture yesterday while we were driving down Grand River. It's pretty cool to see the tower cranes from so far away, and right now there is really nothing standing next to them so the height is even more pronounced!
When you're coming down the hill on Grand River west of Valley Court park, you get all three; it's quite a sight. Also, the white of the 565 Building from this view is glaring when the sun hits it. I didn't expect that building to play so prominently on the skyline from that angle. When the The Hub and Center City are actually built, it's going to be an entirely different feel for downtown.
Mich - Right on. Just imagine how different it will look if/when the "Park district" project is completed, and their is more density built up back from Albert towards the North, as per EL's long term plan!