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Lansing Off Topic

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Everyone else seems to have an "off topic" forum, so I figured it's about time. I'll let one a you guys from Flint start your own off topic, I figured it's best to keep the cities seperate.

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I should create one for the Tri-Cities too. But then again, I'm the only one from the Tri-Cities here, so I'd be talking to myself.

Edited by wolverine

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Allan seems pretty active in the tri cities, and while I don't know much about them, I try to keep upon anything significant. I'm big on Flint's music, thats the perfect kind of thing to talk about in an off-topic forum

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Does anyone know anything about these three projects? They are from the same archtect as the 101 S Washington rennovation and the Stadium District. There are only these three renderings, nothing else listed on the site. I'm not even a sure if the first one is in Lansing, I was thinking it may be the West Village in EL though. I vaguely remember seing the rendering for that on the news, it kinda looks like it. The other two I'm completely clueless on.

265_12.jpg

265_19.jpg

265_21.jpg

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Project #1 looks like the West Village development that is soon to go up on the west end of downtown Lansing.

Project #2 looks like the retail building going up just a block or two from where I live at the corner of Monroe and Cedar Street a block west of Prudden Place.

Project #3 I have little idea about, but may be a piece of a proposal for the former Shcaefer Bakery site on MLK between Mount Hope and Holmes.

Do you have a link to the archtiects website? Where'd you find these?

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There are plans to put some refugees from New Orleans in closed schools in Lansing and Detroit, check out the full story here: Recently closed Lansing schools could house hundreds of refugees

I think that many of these refugees, especially the poorer ones, will likely stay wherever they are put up at. Maybe they will be less likely to stay if they are housed up here because they won't like the weather, but maybe some will just choose to stay anyways.

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It's always sad to see bussiness' closing, although I don't know about this one in particular. It is just one more name to add to the evergrowing list of closing business' in the Lansing area, we need to work on a way to preserve business' in these tough economic times.

Another business that recently closed were the Famous Taco resturaunts, one my favorite resturaunts in town. The one on Waverly re-opened soon after it closed and the one on S. Cedar is supposed to be reopening any time, thankfully.

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Another business that recently closed were the Famous Taco resturaunts, one my favorite resturaunts in town. The one on Waverly re-opened soon after it closed and the one on S. Cedar is supposed to be reopening any time, thankfully.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I always claimed that Famous Taco was my favorite resturaunt in town. I think they opened too many locations (6 at one point). I think the same owner re-opened the wavery location, and soon the cedar location. Those two locations were always busy, and I'm not sure why they would close for financial reasons. My fiance told me it was probably the health department, and I'm not sure I could dispute that.

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I beleive it was because of too many locations also. The one on Cedar and the West side one were always busy, right up until they opened all of those resturaunts. And I beleive they closed because of bankrupcy, thats what the sign said posted on the door of the one on Cedar. I think that poor health report also hurt business somewhat.

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Great pic, lmichigan!

I had no idea it had a life before MNB. Care to share some history? I know the Boji part, thanks...lol...

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Well, it began as Olds Tower, but was quickly renamed as Capitol National Bank Tower, a bank that is now no longer in existence, that R.E. Olds help create. Then, as you can see, in 1954 it became Michigan National Bank Tower, and stayed that way until 2001 when bought out by Standard Federal Bank and they took the historic sign down. The Bojis have been the owners since 1998, and don't plan to add a neon sign back to the top.

Now, the Standard Federal Bank, which was bought out by some other bank either last year or this year, is moving to the Capitol View Building (Boji Complex), a block to the west. The tower is now officially the Boji Tower, and routinely posts over 90% occupancy numbers, and underwent a large scale renovation last year.

I know that was kind of hoge-podged but I hope it helps. Here are some more interesting facts:

1. The 11-story annex on the front of the building was constructed in 1967. This expansion also included the adding of the red elevator tower on the front of the building.

2. The tower portion contains 3.5 million pounds of structural steel, and 654,000 bricks in 17 different colors.

3. The letters of the historic "Michigan National" sign were made of porcelain enamel and lit with red neon. They were 4.5 feet tall and 200 to 300 pounds each.

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Have you ever been inside the bank part of it, its very nice, so is the Senate hearing room, also on the bottom floor. I have a pic of it under construction from Jult of 1930.

MichiganNatltrimmed.jpg

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Funny thing, I haven't been in there. From what I heard the Senate hearing room IS the banking hall. But maybe I heard wrong.

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They are not the same thing, they are virtually identical though, both take up about the same space and look very similar and have the traditional old look. Intricate tin celings with some wall detail, and the lobby is quite nice also, you should go in there and take a look before the bank moves. You did say the bank in Michigan National is closing to move to Capitol View, right, not just adding a location?

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I wouldn't call it closing. It's a relocation of the central Lansing office and downtown branch. It's literally moving right across the street to the first floor of the Capitol View Building. If you go by Capitol View at night, you can see them working on the small banking hall on the first floor. It's on the Townsend Street side.

I'm sure the Boji's will quickly fill the Boji Tower banking hall with another bank. That's the only thing the area in the tower can be used for unless they go the way of the Guardian Building banking hall in Detroit which was turned into an awesome little retail arcade.

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I thought it would also make for a very nice resturaunt, I'm not sure how they would do a kitchen, but I'm sure theres a way. Something like that has so many uses, I hope they do something other than a bank.

Also, they are going to be moving the first state workers into Capitol View on Monday, my dads working overtime today getting the final wiring done, I think it's for the 6th and 7th floors. For Emporis you may just want to call it completed.

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Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. It's cool to watch the floors at night seeing some of them with their lights on and pretty much done, and some floors still needing construction.

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Since business closing's were touched on earlier here, I just thought I'd point out that Bozzo's used car dealership closed at Washington & Elm, 1102 S. Washington. Anyways, it's an insignificant business that in itself doesn't hurt the city or neighborhood by closing. But the building, a historic gas station, has been boarded up and is within a block of the new condos, REO Town just can't seem to shake it's past. This brings me to the point that Lansing cannot have 3 historic business districts, at least not until 2 become stable enough to not need constant extra money and tax breaks to be successful. As for REO Town, I don't expect it to succeed until both Downtown and Old Town do, if then.

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I think you have it backwards. The closing of Bozo's was inevitable and will allow for that corner to be better utilized. Lansing can, and will, support Old Town, Downtown, and REO Town. The man next door is building lofts down there for nothing, or on pure speculation and hope.

REO Town is not declining, it's going through a change in use.

Edited by Lmichigan

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I figured the building would be better used also, in fact that would of been my first guess. But the building was boarded up, very securely, which I take as a sign that there are no plans for the building. REO Town will never be like downtown, and has nowhere sear the potnetial of Old Town. REO Town, at best, will become an acceptable bussiness district, with neighborhood oriented bussiness. Rather than the dilapidated, dead bussiness district that currently exists. And the owner of this building is a slumlord, he was the owner of the loft building, he owns an abandoned building on N. East thats open and not even secured, he also own a couple other dilapidated commercial buildings around town.

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No, the building will most definitely have to be brought down. Whatever is built there will serve a much better purpose to the neighborhood.

And, of course REO Town will never been like Old Town or Downtown. It is nowhere the the size of either. I know that is not the neighborhood associations vision for the area. It is basically one street along a few blocks. I think you far over estimate what you think people are saying about the area. It's a fledgling neighborhood business district, again, and that is all it can ever hope to become, and all that it should be.

Bozo's didn't close because their is not a need for another used car lot in the city. It closed because the area around it is changing for the better once again. Their may have been a market in the neighborhood for a used car dealership when the district had hit rock bottom, but with landvalue rising around it, and the makeup of the neighborhood changing, their isn't a market there any longer.

As for the man in charge of the loft development, whether he is a slumlord or not, I do not know. What I do know is that the former dealership conversion on south Washington is coming along nicely, and quality materials are being used in the renovation and expansion of this small project. It's really only a matter of time before the building next door, the Michigan Electric Company building (or whatever it is), is converted as well. The old hardware store across the street is also being market for a loft conversion, that will almost surely happen.

BTW, there are even smaller projects such as the 106 Island Avenue project/conversion right off of Washington leading to the Ekert Power Station that is soon to open. Popoff Meat Company is also reworking their facade which now looks awesome, a huge improvement.

Here is REO Town's website and the building I'm talking about:

http://www.reotown.com/

http://www.reotown.com/pics/phpthumb/phpTh...c=../photos/106 Island Ave./DCP_1667.jpg&w=700&q=90

http://www.reotown.com/pics/phpthumb/phpTh...c=../photos/106 Island Ave./DCP_1669.jpg&w=700&q=90

What it looked like before:

http://www.reotown.com/pics/phpthumb/phpTh..../photos/Facade Improvement/100_0252.JPG&w=700&q=90

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Some development updates from the next city council session:

1. The Michigan Restaurant Association wants most, or all, of the surface parking lot behind it's current home on 225 East Washtenaw Street (right across the street from the Townsend Street Ramp) to construct a brand new buildings on the entire parcel.

2. A two-person development team is looking to develop 8, detached condominiums on Wayne Street which is in Southeast Lansing just southeast of Hawk Island in a rather rural/natural part of the city.

3. The developer of 200/202 East Grand River, right on the Grand River in Old Town currently under renovation, is finally getting his tax exemption request looked at.

4. The City and State have a contract now for tree planting on Saginaw and Oakland between Ballard and Marshall Streets. This will REALLY help the streetscape of these two streets in that area. Not that this area looks that bad streetscape wises, but it will really help with the East Village neighborhood.

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Their trying, I'll give them that. And if all they expect out of this is for Washington to become a neighborhood business district, then they have a chance. But, this neighborhood is still bad (for Lansing) and will not likely change. Just like Downtown and Old Town, the surrounding neighborhood will at best, level off, and not get any worse, but thats all you can really expect, and thats all I really want. No need to push people out, or try to change the character of the neighborhood, but business districts are much easier to change. But the tructh will come when in say, 5 years, if these lofts and apartments are still going for market rate then they can claim success, and not until then. And from what I heard those lofts on Washington are going to be ridiculous, someone who was working on the project was saying $1300+ per month, there's just no way people will pay that for there, that would make them equal in price to the most expensive apartments in the Lansing area.

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