Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Lmichigan

Melot: Lansing, lace up Issue - downtown development

13 posts in this topic

I read this column in the Lansing State Journal yesterday (12/11/2005), and thought it was a great proposal to lay out on the table. It's a big dream, no doubt, but one that is not completely unreachable. I've always thought their should be another arena/auditorium downtown after they demolished the civic center, whether or not it was used for sports. Also, Mr. Melot focuses on one location, but there are quite a few places in the central city where this could go:

Melot: Lansing, lace up Issue - downtown development

Downtown arena for hockey, and events, is worth risk, cost

By Derek Melot, Lansing State Journal, 12/11/2005

As Mayor-elect Virg Bernero and his team prepare to settle into City Hall, the tone again in Lansing politics is to think big.

OK.

Mr. Mayor-elect, you should commit your administration to building a big arena in downtown Lansing. It will be a natural successor to the now-gone Civic Center - and serve as a new home to a professional hockey team.

Grandiose? Yes. Risky? Sure. Expensive? Most certainly.

Doable? Most definitely.

Read the rest of the op-ed piece here, and give me some feedback.

http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?A...14/columnists07

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I'm all for it, but I seriously doubt that such a project would even be considered by the city. If it were to be built it would basically secure Lansing as a serious player in redevolopment and investment. Another project I envision in that area is on the site of the Lansing Central Garage, directly north of Olds Park on Cedar St. The city plans on consolidating garages and that garage would be a perfect site for a mid rise (~6 floor) residential/mixed-use building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm all for it, but I seriously doubt that such a project would even be considered by the city. If it were to be built it would basically secure Lansing as a serious player in redevolopment and investment. Another project I envision in that area is on the site of the Lansing Central Garage, directly north of Olds Park on Cedar St. The city plans on consolidating garages and that garage would be a perfect site for a mid rise (~6 floor) residential/mixed-use building.

I always thought that location would sell well if the places had ballpark views (i.e. Wrigley Field, Chicago; Broderick Tower, Detroit [soon to be]. The thought of having such scenery out your balcony or window seems like it would be very ideal, especially with the convenience of that location.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, while watching the City Council meeting tonight, this editorial was slightly discussed, and there seemed to be a very general interest in the idea. It may be years off, but it's not something that I don't think couldn't happen.

I always thought it strange that the city didn't have a plans to build a multi-use auditorium/arena after they destroyed the Civic Center. It seems as if the city was content with having all national acts and sports in East Lansing. IMO, the concept of the Wharton Center should have been built in Lansing.

BTW, the Stadium District was approved tonight, and has jumped through all of the city's hoops. It will begin construction in the spring!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BTW, the Stadium District was approved tonight, and has jumped through all of the city's hoops. It will begin construction in the spring!
This is great news!! I'm excited to see the new life this will flow in the downtown area!! This might be the single greatest development to spur a major downtown revival. The Gillespie name is synonymous with quality, and this project should follow suit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know what I like about Gillespie? He had little money in building and designing Prudden Place, but he took what he was given and made something great out of limited resources. It could have looked much worse. The Stadium District is a step up. He know has the money he will be generating off of Prudden Place to help finance Stadium District. And once that comes on line, I'm sure he will step up his game again and build a tower eventually. The man is a class act. I've actually seen him around my neighborhood, and kind of talked to him via email to get updates every once in awhile.

I can't wait to see what's next.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not only could a stadium have a hckey team, but maybe an arena football league also, plus concerts and special events and evan the occational visit by MSU's basketball team. This project would go great with Cooley's possible auditorium building, which will host the Lansing Symphony Orchestra and The Boarshead Theater just to begin with. I see a lot of possibilites just around the corner, maybe even the revival of the $45 million performing arts center downtown. Plus, the consolidation of the police precincts seems to be one of Bernero's goals, i'm sur it will be built downtown on land the city already owns, it should warrant a 100,000 sq ft building minimum. That will help fill in some parking lot I'm sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you sure about the precinct consolodation? I got the complete opposite feeling from him. He wants to restart up a comminity policing program which makes the spreading out of precincts more likely and helpful if that is what he plans to do. Consolidating precincts goes directly agains the idea of community policing.

Also, I was thinking that the new ice arena could become home to MSU Hockey instead of an arena football league. Football is probably won of the least popular sports in this area (especially) and Michigan. It's always basketball, hockey, and then baseball/football at the bottom. Munn really isn't an exciting facility.

I totally forgot about the orchestra hall/auditorium proposal for Lansing Symphony Orchetra and Boardshead. I have some more development news I will be posting today concerning some downtown projects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Updates on developments (stalled) from the EDC (Economic Development Corporation), a quasi-city government corporation that leads in development of Lansing:

1. Lansing Symphony Orchestra/Cooley Auditorium: according to the EDC, this is moving very slowly because the whole concept is contingent upon a few key decisions, and is currently only being headed up by Don LeDuc, head of Cooley Law SChool. I have a feeling this will take off, though, seeing as how Mayor Bernero has close ties to this guy, even putting him in a major position in his transition team.

Anyway, the project is contingent upon what Mr. LeDuc decides to do to further grow his school (his number one priority at the moment according to the EDC). He is still trying to decide what to do with the with both the Temple Building and the Towne Center Building, which are tied together in terms of what will happen with this project. We won't know anything else until we see in which direction the new mayor wants to go with this.

2. The BWL coal site next door to Ottawa Street station has been put on hold at the moment by the city attorney on Monday night until next month. Everything is contingent, once again, upon the new mayor and that's why they wanted to show they are still interested. It's also contingent upon the BWL (who owns the land) approves of the current development plan. They still have yet to vote on the current proposal.

Currently, the plan calls for a large, 4 story building containing 52 units gearged toward LCC and Cooley residents, a slight change over an earlier proposal that was marketed as a more expensive and upscale development. The city could lose a $600,000 clean-up grant for the site if construction is not started by the fall of next year, so this is another incentive to fast-forward this.

3. Triangle Site: This is still tied to the coal storage site, and the city council's decision last nights freezes the current plans in place until March of 2006. I was told that the developers say that they are very confident they can get the state to put an office tower, here. The EDC says they are much less confident.

4. Seven Block Area: Negotiations are underway between the city and the Eyde's to have them hold off on building the 3-story office building which would actually go up a bit east of the corner of MLK and Kalamazoo, but still on the block. I was told the reason it is planned so low because they don't want to overpower the surrounding single-family homes.

What the city is currently working with the Eyde's on is to get them to build a smaller (20,000 square feet) residenetial+retail building on the north block (MLK and Washtenaw, but with frontage on Washtenaw) of the area, since office space is in such low demand. Unfortunately, they don't hope to reach a new agreement until July of 2006.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like the idea for the coal storage site at all. I'd rather just see the land sit empty until something comes a long thats at least 8 floors or a tall 6 floors. It's very promising to see that LeDuc and Bernero or friends, I'll bet theres an official proposal in less than two years, probably in 06' though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like something more grand, as well. But, this is probably one of the most cut-off sites downtown (i.e. bad location). Barring the bringing down ot the North Grand Parking Structure, or finally renovating the Ottawa Street Station and expanding the riverfront through, or finally opening up the last two blocks of Washington Square that can be opened to traffic, there isn't much that can be done with the site.

BTW, the most recent proposal for the coal storage sight has actually been in place since 2002/2003 when the 10/12 story tower and surrounding townhomes proposal was dropped, so it's not like the city hasn't had time to ask for more. I think they realize that barring some huge change in the area around it, it would be kind of dumb to develop the site as some grand "island" in the middle of a pretty dreary district (i.e. the area between LCC and Washington Square retail district).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As of the MLive article in July they were still saying 88 units, which is in line with the origional 10-12 floor plan. Where did you get the 53 unit, 4 floor info at? I also emailed Joan Bauer and she said Ferguson and GRanger were not going to persue the apartments without the State police Headquarters afterall and the developers seem impossible to get ahold of, so who knows whats going on?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The EDC like I said, and Patricia Cook more particularly. She said this is what the current plan is, and that she was "surprised." Why she would be, I have only guessed. Like I said earlier, I think she may have been surprised because the very first plan was something much more grand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.