Archived

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

Adieoz

Oliver Towers

14 posts in this topic

I just read in the City Pulse that Oliver Towers mid rise building (located on the corner of Ionia and Capitol) is currently occupied only by the housing commision offices, which will soon be relocated to the former school for the blind site. The rest of the building remains vacant after a fire in 2000.

I am starting this forum to see what ideas are out there for the site. The city pulse was weighing in on weather to make this site low-income housing or try for an upscale development.

That being said, I think it is a shame that this property has remained vacant for so long. It seems that perhaps the city should place a little red tag on the front door and begin the demo process for themselves. If it were any other building in Lansing, the process would have begun long ago

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Why they didn't demo it right away was because the units were in limbo. They were trying to see if it would be better to renovate or relocate those housing units. But, since the units have now been relocated (Oliver Gardens on South MLK broke ground a few weeks ago), it frees up the property.

As the City Pulse said, two developers are looking at the site for upscale housing, so I assume it will more likely than not go that route. The Gillespie Group (developers of Prudden Place) put together a pretty neat concept a few years back for the site that included something like 100 historic-styled rowhouse condominium units that would ring the block, and would have retail at each corner. I'm unaware of the other developer looking at the site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the time of the fire, estimates for bringing the Oliver Towers back online were estimated at less than $300,000 thats to bring 108 much needed units online, the "Oliver Gardens" project on MLK will only have 30 units. To me, thats a problem. Now I realize that Oliver Towers is in a Location that best suits the site for higher-end uses, but the housing commission needs to replace all the units as soon as possible, in fact they should be building more units as supply already pales in comparison to demand.

Here is a pic of the Oliver Towers-

OliverTowers275432.jpg

Of the things proposed for the Oliver Towers site, I'm not happy with the ideas I've heard, Gillespie's rowhouse plan, while very nice, I dont think is dense enough for this site (see conceptual rendering below), the mayor has proposed building a new city hall on the site, I think that underutilizes the site also. I think the best use for site would be either an array of 8-12 story buildings of varying uses, from office to residential, most or all with ground floor retail, and varying architecture, from modern to post-modern. Or the city could build a 12+ story city hall on not mare than 1/3 of the site and the remaining portion could be developed as I outlined above. I think that that is a reasonable development, the site could be subdivided into seperate lots so that buildings could be built individually, at different times, by different developers.

71oliver_towers_site.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oliver Gardens is only 30, but the School for the Blind will have some units, as well. They never intended to replace all of the units (which I think is just wrong), and the ones they did replace they spread out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the LHC needs to invest in another major project, something around 100 units, I don't care much whether its in one building or in a townhouse complex or a combination. The point is they need to add some serious units and it needs to be sooner rather than later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. If you read last weeks City Pulse, they said they got out of the real estate business in the 80's, and concentrated on maintaining what they had, which was a mistake IMO, especially as the city continues to become less wealthy. There is a need for public and senior housing like there has never been before, and the housing commission better get back into the real estate business. The lack of more good public housing is exactly why some of our neighborhoods are going down, because many of these people have nowhere else to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, LHC projects tend to have programs for youth and seniors, along with good security, those are things that are absent in neighborhoods. I read an article awhile back, I think it was in City Pulse that said that LHC is one of the best managed public housing authorities in the nation and is recognized as having very good programs and low crime (for public housing) in their complexes. They do a great job with what they have, they just need to have more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Yeah, the LHC is good at its job, though they seem to have lost the will to develop over the years. What the City Pulse has said that they've been really good in doing is spreading the housing throughout the city as opposed to building the high-rise projects so many others did, that know have to be demolished because they were simply bad experiments.

I hope that Oliver Gardens and Old Main at the School for the Blind, will spark the hunger for them to become developers once again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks to be setting a trend, once they see the good response from this I'm sure they will realize how good of a thing it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks to be setting a trend, once they see the good response from this I'm sure they will realize how good of a thing it is.

new city hall... lansing could make a fortune on the old one :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With LCC right across the street, I would think there would be a significant interest in the building if it was marketed towards the students. I spent 1 semester at GRCC in Grand Rapids and many apartment buildings near the campus were targeting students.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With LCC right across the street, I would think there would be a significant interest in the building if it was marketed towards the students. I spent 1 semester at GRCC in Grand Rapids and many apartment buildings near the campus were targeting students.

Now that it appears that most of the units from this building will be replaced by the School for the Blind and Oliver Gardens properties, I can't wait to see this building come down and see something nicer go up. This building is not a good set-up for that area, with poor architecture, far set-back and large parking lot. I favor this site being developed into several buildings, maybe one or two could be lower priced (but still nice) apartments catering to LCC, but I think a majority should be low to mid rise luxury residential, and maybe an office building. Of course any retail, especially along Shiawassee should definately cater to LCC students.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anything that will go up there will most likely incorporate some amount of student housing, as it should. Good thing about the location is that it has more than one marketing group to attract, the other being state workers. There is no need for the site to be all one of anything; doing so would be limiting your base.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.