Archived

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

hood

Ottawa Street Power Station: Redevelopment

74 posts in this topic

An article in the City Pulse announces some interesting news about the Ottawa Power Station, the city will be submitting a letter requesting proposals for development nation-wide in about 30 days. This is great news, out of every developer in the nation, what are the chances that nobody will want to take on this project? Dick DeVos could really gain himself a good name in the Lansing area if he were to take on a project like this, and make some money. Power station rebirth?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Glad to hear about this, but Dick DeVos need not even bother (for numerous reasons, and he's not going to, either). I'm cautiously optimistic, the reason being I'm hearing more than ever that many would support demolition. The Lansing State Journal even did an op-ed piece not even a few weeks ago saying that they think the building may be overstaying its welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The chances of the Ottawa Station being demolished I think are a bout zero. Most people I think would support saving it if an effort were made to raze it or severely alter it. I'm pretty comfortable that there will be at least two if not more serious proposals for a development on the property within a year of the letter being sent out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think development will definately happen and I think the interest is there as my sources tell me that after the last state journal piece a couple weeks back there was significant interest within a couple of days.

That being said nothing is guaranteed and who knows what issues with the building a potential developer will face

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the good things about Ottawa is the flexibility of the space, it is gutted and there is much room for adding floors or keeping the tall ones. Also, my favorite thing about the building are its windows, if your were to stick the same kind of windows they put in the Prudden factory lofts in the Ottawa that would be perfect. The building has so much potential and so much character there has to be at least a few developers who will have an interest in this project, as I said with a national promotion development is almost a sure thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That being said nothing is guaranteed and who knows what issues with the building a potential developer will face

Potential developers have already ran into problems over the years namely the problem with the super tall floors. To make it financially feasible, more floors must be created within the building, which is not a cheap task. Developers have also said that the current floor plates are odd, as each floor has a different amount of square footage. This will definitely require a creative reuse. This building has already shown itself to be a tough project, for more reasons than just the floor plates. It hasn't sat vacant for nearly 15 years for nothing, and it's definitely going to take an outside developer, since no local developer seems capable of this project. It's good Bernero is looking beyond our borders, and our region, because that's the only future for the building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mean to sound harsh, but if no local developers took the project, do you honestly think any developers from out of the area would take it? That came off kind of cinical, but I don't think that we have that bad of developers in this area already, so if they can't do it, why can someone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure they would, because you're pulling from a much deeper pool. This project is a HUGE undertaking for such a small city. What makes you think that no outside entity would want to take this on out of the hundreds/thousands outside of Mid-Michigan? The reason local developers have not taken this on is not because they haven't wanted to (many have tried), but because there is really no capable local developer. There are much larger, more wealthy, and thus more capable developers outside of Mid-Michigan. There are developers, for instance, that specialize specifically in historic renovations. Yes, that was a rather cynical and rash rush to judgement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


you also have to consider the fact that this RFP/RFQ is going to encompass a whole hell of a lot more than just the BWL building. The station will be the anchor part of the development but it will just be one piece of the puzzle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mean to sound harsh, but if no local developers took the project, do you honestly think any developers from out of the area would take it? That came off kind of cinical, but I don't think that we have that bad of developers in this area already, so if they can't do it, why can someone else.

The big local developers who may be capable of doing a project this size, Granger, Eyde and Ferguson, don't seem at all interested in putting up housing downtown, at least not yet. Of the developers that are willing to put up housing downtown, gillespie is by far the largest and most capable and even he has nowhere near the resources to develop this parcel, I would estimate that to develop the entire parcel properly would cost $100-150 million. There would have to be two residential towers of at least 12 floors and a smart use of space at the Ottawa to make me happy. There would also have to be a lot of consideration given to the riverfront, wide, inviting walkways and businesses, especially resturaunts facing the river. These are the kind of projects that larger, national developers are used to doing. They may even proposed to build higher, maybe even 20 floors. It may also get the outside developers into Lansing to look at the Ottawa, and even if they choose not to develop that they may want to build something else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hood, excellent point--even if nothing comes of this in regard to the Ottawa plant, it can only mean good things for getting outside people into the area. And with so many other initiatives going on at the same time (the high tech/biotech push for instance) I really think these projects will start to get Lansing noticed. I forgot what article it was in, but I read that while attending a tech conference a Lansing rep said that our problem wasn't that we had a bad image in the technology sector, it was that we have none at all. Things like this can fix that I think--even though the Ottawa plant has nothing to do with tech stuff, it gets Lansing noticed by outside entities. Those outside entities talk and share info, and this all adds up to critical mass for Lansing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hood, excellent point--even if nothing comes of this in regard to the Ottawa plant, it can only mean good things for getting outside people into the area. And with so many other initiatives going on at the same time (the high tech/biotech push for instance) I really think these projects will start to get Lansing noticed. I forgot what article it was in, but I read that while attending a tech conference a Lansing rep said that our problem wasn't that we had a bad image in the technology sector, it was that we have none at all. Things like this can fix that I think--even though the Ottawa plant has nothing to do with tech stuff, it gets Lansing noticed by outside entities. Those outside entities talk and share info, and this all adds up to critical mass for Lansing.

The Ottawa power station project is an attractive one to a lot of national developers. If you look at what has gone on in holland, alpena, detroit etc. there are national developers out there from NY, LA, Chicago, etc. that would do something very similar in nature to what is place at the Ottawa power station (and don't forget the coal storage site... so they'll get to do new construction too, which i think is a very attractive element)

And there has been interest from local developers, so don't go around saying there hasn't

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There hasn't been any serious consideration by local developers about the Ottawa. Granger and Ferguson had a proposal for the coal storage site only as a condition of the city selling them the triangle land. They continuously downgraded their proposal from a 12 story luxury apartment tower to a set of townhomes, then the city let the agreement expire. Thats when they decided to attach that property to the Ottawa. I'm sure there are local developers that would like to do the project, I would, but no willing local developers have the money to do a minimal project, let alone a quality one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did anyone see the news this afternoon (WILX and ABC53)? They both had pieces that really put this new RFP in a positive and optimistic life. Planning Director Bob Johnson has said that the station has recently attracted the interest of a handful of local developers, a few from the east side of the state (I'm guessing the big developers in Metro Detroit), and one from completely outside the state. The BWL took city leaders on a tour of the plant, and the media came with them. Needless to say, those big windows make for some AWESOME views.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an odd building inside, I remember touring the building after it closed but before they removed the equipment. I remember thinking it was pretty cool, there are lots of large open spaces in it. One small feature that I hope will be saved are those art deco doors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Yeah, that's what I meant about the odd floor plates. There are some loft type areas amongst all of the giant floors, which are themselves some times interrupted by where equipment used to stand and cut through floors.

Though I've always wanted to see this, after seeing the inside on TV, today, I think one of the floors should be used as a place for Impression 5, and maybe a few of the other museums. That had been floated before by the RE Olds Museum and Impression 5 for a floor, but that plan fell apart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't mind seeing Impression 5 expanded massively, at least to the size of the science museum up in GR. Science museums are always the biggest and best museums, I just don't know how they would fund it.

Bernero was quoted today in an LSJ article on the Ottawa (Plant fires 'cool' visions) as saying "Are you kidding? People pay for this sound." He was talking about the cooling towers. I guess they don't want to remove them for the development, I guess they really don' want to see the the building get redeveloped. The prospects of seeing this building redeveloped with cooling towers on it are slim to none. I can't beleive the city is that stupid to not remove these things, as long as they are on the building thats all the building is good for :angry: .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't agree with you on that. At the worst, the sound may be annoying to a few, and at best its part of the urban environment. That means, most will fall in between not really caring one way or the other. Personally, I don't care one way or the other, and I really don't think developers are going to either. It actually sounds like a cool waterfall, to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But a view of corrugated metal siding and steam? Thats really not acceptable, they should have a permanent building to house those chillers in anyways. Also, I'm sure the constant steam and dampness on the west facade will ruin the brick eventually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, but a view of a concrete parking garage isn't attractive, either. The chillers were only meant to be temporary, anyway, and they will most definitely be moved in time, but I see no need to rush it, and the idea that they some how ruin the marketability of the building is really stretching it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The chillers lie mostly above the top level of the ramp, so the view without them would be looking out over the ramp, not into it. Besides, the ramp itself will probaby be removed in 10-15 years, maybe sooner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The chillers lie mostly above the top level of the ramp, so the view without them would be looking out over the ramp, not into it. Besides, the ramp itself will probaby be removed in 10-15 years, maybe sooner.

I would think that a proposal for the power plant would almost require the ramp to remain standing. Any redevelopment would surely need parking- and it doesnt get more convenient than that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The parking ramp shouldn't have been built over Grand. Although I sort of like the affect of driving under it, it really hurts the power station and the streetscape. The only problem is that tearing down the ramp would make development more attractive by making the street more attractive, but it would a put a cramp on parking. That ramp is very large, I think the ramp should be razed and a new ramp built, not crossing the street. It would probably have to be 12 floors with ground floor retail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they do tear down the ramp annex (the part that goes over Grand), they will most likely build it...just north of the station on the coal field. This is going to be a huge challenege, IMO. On one hand, the parking annex MUST be destroyed to have the station connected to the street (it's easily one of the most cut off buildings from the rest of downtown because of it). On the other hand, ANY redevelopment of this station is going to have to include A LOT of dedicated parking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bad part is that the annex is relativly new, built in the 80's and the part that is off to the side was built in the 60's or 70's. This could also be a good thing though, the older part of the ramp is nearing the end of it's feasable life, it would be perfectly reasonable to tear it down in 5 or less years, it would have to either be razed or completely remodled in no more than 10. So I think that simply building a 12 floor ramp on the footprint of the origional N Grand Ramp would be a good solution, hopefully the developments on the coal storage site would contain one or two floors of underground parking themselves. Also, the north Capitol ramp will have to be replaced before too long, hopefully with a ramp of at least double the capacity, hopefully on a smaller footprint. Lansing is preparing itself to have to not only replace almost all the parking ramps in the next 10 or so years, but have to add significantly to its already inadaquate parking supply. on top of this, over the next 10 years most of the surface lots downtown will probably go, I don't know what their going to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.