Ask ELi: What's Going Up Next to Moosejaw?

Monday, January 30, 2017, 9:31 am
By: 
Alice Dreger

For the last couple of years, ELi has provided a service called “Ask ELi to Investigate.” We take questions from readers and, if we think other readers have the same question, we try to get them answered.

A reader recently asked what the construction project at 565 East Grand River Avenue—next to Moosejaw and across from MSU’s Broad Art Museum—is going to turn into. ELi extensively covered the last City Council’s approvals of the site plan and tax increment financing (TIF) plan for this project, but that was a while ago so it makes sense that some people won’t know what’s planned for that spot.

The site used to be the site of the old Taco Bell, where Bailey Street ends at East Grand River Avenue, just across from the Broad:

Years ago, Taco Bell abandoned that site to move to the new building across Bailey Street, and the site sat empty for several years. In September 2015, David Krause of Stonehouse Village VI, LLC, got permission from City Council to construct “a five-story mixed-use building with 6,756 sq. ft. of commercial space on the first floor” and a mix of rental apartments above.

Krause and partner Douglas Cron are major landlords and developers in East Lansing. Krause and Cron had wanted to have as many as 16 four-bedroom apartments in the project, of the type that attract student renters, but in its approval process City Council eliminated the four-bedroom apartments in favor of smaller apartment units, hoping to attract a more diverse population of renters. This required a significant interior redesign.

The plan now is to have 300 square feet of covered outdoor patio space outside, so it is anticipated that the commercial space on the first floor will have some kind of restaurant. The patio will be made possible by a reconfiguration of Bailey Street. Bailey Street has had three lanes where it met Grand River Avenue, but after this project this completed, it will have only two. (Read more about the approved plans.)

Here’s what the architect, Studio Intrigue Architects, provided to Council in terms of the rendering:

The building is meant to compliment the Broad Museum. The developer purchased left-over distinctive exterior materials from the Broad’s construction and will have those incorporated into 565 East Grand River’s façade so that there is some “mirroring” of elements between the two buildings:

The project does not have any new parking provided on site. The City’s policies currently discourage new downtown projects like this from having on-site parking, because the City staff has wanted the City’s parking garages used for residents of new buildings like this one.

As ELi reported, the developers have arranged for discounted bulk parking with the currently-seated City Council, although not without some stated dissatisfaction about this on the part of some Council members.

The tax increment financing plan for this project was controversial and the subject of intense debate for the last seated City Council and was ultimately approved on a 3-2 vote.

Online advertising indicates there will be 84 apartments in total that will rent for between $950 and $2,800 per month. According to the developer/landlord’s website, the project will begin renting in August 2017. There is no word yet on who the commercial tenants will be.