Metro Place (formerly Reutter Park Place, formerly The Lenawee)



  • Someone will post the article later, I'm sure, but the LSJ is reporting this morning that the developers of the Lenawee have completely changed plans for this stalled project. It's now a four-story apartment building that will include groundfloor retail, 228 units, and both underground and surface parking. It'll still be fairly large at 150,000 square feet meaning it should fill the block better than the previous office building proposal. The fact that some of the parking will be underground will also mean that the actual building will cover more of the site.

    I'm really liking the sound of this change, and I'm glad they didn't give up on developing the site. Can't wait to see the renderings.
  • ...And here's the article: Lansing YMCA site could get new life in $22 million deal

    I'm a bit unsure about this project. I'm almost always for new construction downtown, especially residential construction, but I don't like the idea of building over 200 units of residential in nondescript, relatively isolated area of downtown. It seems like a project like this would just do more to detract from the areas of downtown that development has been focused on lately, not to mention that I'm sick of seeing 4 and 5 floor buildings get built on large parcels of land that could have multiple buildings. I personally would have much rather seen the Lenawee get built.

    I also can't wait to see renderings and a site plan, I'm sure the project will grow on me. I just want to see a high rise residential building in the near future and I don't know if projects like this and Marketplace help build a larger downtown residential market or if they will crowd the market for years to come. I'm just hoping we experience a Grand Rapids-like boom.
  • edited May 2011
    Personally, while I'd still like to see high-rise residential downtown, I'm pretty over it. I've come to the point of where I'm really starting to appreciate more human-scaled development that adds to streetwalls and the streetscape. The area that this is going in is perfect for the height. The Lenawee at that particular location always seemed strange to me. That area is largely low-rise house-turned-offices, apartment buildings, and single-family homes. The Lenawee would have totally overwhelmed the quiet character of that backarea of downtown. I'd like to see office space contained largely east of Capitol, and when west of Capitol on or directly adjacent to the Capitol Complex.

    I also don't think this particular project takes away from what's being developed to the east of this sector of downtown. It seems to me that they are going after two different kinds potential residents.
  • I'm hoping that this is going to be targeted more towards Cooley students, which it may very well be. If that's the case then I would agree with you that it wouldn't effect the overall downtown housing market much.

    I'm wondering about the number of units compared to the square footage. It says the building will be 151,400 sq ft, with 11,000 sq ft of retail, leaving 140,400 sq ft of residential space; that divided by 228 is only about 616 sq ft per unit, without taking common area and mechanical space into account. Seems awful small to me.
  • The City Council Packet for this states that the project is to be called "Reutter Park Place". Along with the 151,000 sq ft U-shaped building, the parking will take up 37,000 sq ft with 228 spaces...the same number as units in the building.

    There are also some very rough black-and-white renderings since these are scanned:

    The brownfield plan starts on page 104. Can't say I'm crazy about the slopped roof. To be honest, from what little can be seen, it looks like your average small suburban hotel/motel property or cheap dormitory than something you'd want to find downtown.
  • I don't really like the design either, it looks a lot like the newer Stonehouse condos in EL, with half-exposed parking on the first floor. I wish people wouldn't always go with such bland architecture around here.
  • It looks like this is on the council agenda for next week. It appears they are formally requesting a rezoning for the site from "Professional Office District" to "Business District" which allows for mixed use development. There seems to have been a bit of a change. I imagine that parking is still all intact, but now they have it at 244 apartments, with first floor commercial space. I like the change of adding the first floor commercial space. I imagine this will be at the front of the building to kind of hide the parking, which I hope is the intent.
  • That is great news! I'm not sure why the project seems to be moving so slow though, I guess it's probably due to the speed of getting financing for a project this large.
  • edited November 2011
    Yeah, unless a developer(s) is going to sink a whole lot of their own money, it's been very difficult to get loans for large projects following the 2008 financial sector collapse. It's why the Knapp's has such an incredible complicated financing package. I remember the redevelopers of the Ottawa Street Station saying that if the financing part of the project would have started a year later, it probably wouldn't have happened.

    I'm just happy this project is alive, at all. Apart from the difficulties in getting loans in this economic environment, the developers are really real estate agents out of East Lansing that have dealt in your pretty typical business of selling suburban homes. They've never done anything of this size, and not in a traditionally urban area.
  • I'm glad to hear that this project is now including a more significant amount of commercial space, hopefully it moves forward.

    Rendering from this weeks council packet:
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