General Lansing Development

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  • Boji Group bought their fourth major building downtown, the other day. They bought the 112 East Allegan Street (Fifth Third Bank Building) at the end of Allegan. So, this makes for the Capitol View, Boji Tower, Hollister Building, and 112 East Allegan, all along that 3 block area of Allegan. They say they bought it to provide smaller office spaces they couldn't provide in the other buildings, which are geared more toward larger tenants. 112 East Allegan is currently at something like 50% occupancy, and it's good to see that this one will get filled. I'd hope that one day they'll reclad it. It is easily one of the worst "modernizations" ever done on a high-rise in downtown Lansing (i.e. concrete and aluminium).
  • I fully expect the Boji's to make some significant improvements to the building with a year or two, especially given their previous track record and the very poor state of this building. This building just looks nasty, I wonder if the old brick can be saved? I never thought the Ranney Building's facade could be restored either, but the "modern" facade just came right off.
  • I'm not so sure about this one. From the old pictures I've seen of the building, it looks like this was a complete reconstruction of the old building (i.e stripping the thing to the bone), and not just a recladding. I can't be 100% sure, though.

    BTW, have you been by the building next door to the Ranney Building, recently? They've put up a huge metal awning on it similar to the one at Studio Intrigue in REO Town. In fact, they are probably the architects.
  • I haven't been by there in a while, in fact I haven't had a chance to get out much to check up on anything in the past week or two.

    As for the 5/3 building I think that if the old facade is not restorable then the Bojis will reclad it again, the building as is is very ugly and unattractive to prospective tenants. From what my dad has told me about the building its also very nasty on the inside, at least it was a couple years ago before the state moved out, it's probably worse now.
  • BTW, I found DeHaven Real Estate's website recently, and they own or lease quite a few key vacant properties around the city center. Here are what they are selling some of them for:

    1. Temple Club: $995,000

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    2. The Heritage Center: $12.00 per square foot. These are those 3/4 storefronts across from the Lansing Center downtown (416 E. Michigan Ave.) that have been vacant for YEARS, now. I can't for the life of me understand why these refurbished storefronts and office space have set vacant save for a few special events (i.e. mayoral victory parties and the like). I mean, they are in perfect shape, facade and everything, and $12.00 per square foot that close to the capitol.

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    3. Landmark Office Building: $15.50 per square foot. This building is largely occupied, and I was surprised to find out by Accident Fund Insurance Company. This is the building across the street from the Hollister Building that held the Michigan Department of Information Technology just recently.

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    4. 1001 West Saginaw: $8.00 per square foot or $479,000. This is the large vacant retail building approximately behind the Rite-Aid at MLK and Saginaw just down the street from Al Azteco on the really rough commercial strip between MLK and Pine. Despite it being vacant, they've kept it very well secure, and redid the facade a few years back. I would love to see this reused as it is such a large structure for that area, but nothing is happening along that commercial strip, easily the most rundown commercial strip in Metro Lansing.

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    5. 1109 North Cedar: $695,000. This is the former Cedar Street Elementary School behind the Temple Club that's been vacant for years. They've got it sealed up pretty well. I would hope with Pruess Animal House recently relocating from Haslett to the building across the street, this area at the end of Old Town will become more desirable. It would be perfect for residential lofts or science/research.

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  • That Heritage Center was the Oldsmobile Heritage Museum for a short time, I think thats what it was rennovated for. A guy I knew had his Olds Curve Dash in there.

    As for the Cedar Street school I think it is far overpriced for it's condition and location. The old schoold that the district sold off were larger than this, in better shape and only recently vacated, and most went for $300,000. I think that this building should be listed for no more than $400,000, at that price it would probably sell relatively easily. And I think that a science use would fit the site quite well, but not really a residential use.
  • I just realized after reading the paper today about the CSO that they will finally be reopening Washington Square up to Shiawassee. lol I had totally forgot they had changed the plan to decide to do it later to match up with the CSO. I still really wish Washington could be open from Southtown (MLK/Holmes/Washington), all the way up to Old Town like it used to, but LCC decided not too many years ago that they didn't want Washington opened up through campus. I always thought with a little creative planning they could have simply built skywalks over Washington, or took some tunnels under so students wouldn't have to interact with the traffic is they didn't want to. They could have also done something creative with some of the land they own to create a proper staging area for outdoor concerts and stuff.
  • edited August 2006
    A great little nugget from the LSJ, today, in the story about Lansing's new crop of urban-minded developers:

    • Projects: Recently completed The Arbaugh, corner of Kalamazoo Street and Washington Square; the 48 lofts have a waiting list, and commercial space is 70 percent leased. He's working on The RiverNorth "luxe loftominiums" in Old Town, with elevator, garages, river views and a rooftop sundeck.

    http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060829/NEWS01/608290330/1312

    RiverNorth, huh? I like it!
  • I'll be really happy when more info is released about the RiverNorth "luxe loftominiums." That ought to be a very exciting project for Old Town.
  • It's funny, because I was emailing the Old Town Commercial Association about something a week or two ago, and metioned it, and they said they are really excited about it, but everyone is being so tight lipped, and Mr. Karp only answers emails very sporadically.

    BTW, it looks like the Grand River Bridge is nearly complete. I noticed, today, that the historic street lighting is going up on the bridge. It pretty much looks exactly the same as the old bridge, only newer. The approaches looked to be paved, as does most of the bridge.
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