Market-Rate Senior Apartments Added to Bailey; Daycare May Happen
Above: Architect’s drawings of the plans for the redevelopment of the Bailey Community Center showing north and south sides
On Tuesday night, East Lansing’s City Council approved changes to the redevelopment plan for the Bailey Community Center and heard from City staff about plans for a daycare, playground equipment, and parking. City Council voted 4-0 to approve a revised application from Capital Area Housing Partnership (CAHP) for the property. (Mayor Mark Meadows was recused from the discussion and vote because he serves on the board of CAHP.)
The revised plan adds five market-rate senior independent living apartments to the 25 income-qualified apartments. According to zoning administrator Darcy Schmitt, reexamination of the space revealed enough space to make 30 apartments instead of only 25. The plan now calls for eighteen one-bedroom apartments of 800 square feet each, plus twelve two-bedroom apartments at 950 square feet each.
In addition to the twelve special conditions named in the published staff memo on the matter, Schmitt recommended two additional conditions, which Council approved. These included having CAHP pay up to $25,000 to replace play equipment being removed for the project and to replace trees that will be lost in developing the northern parking area.
Councilmember Shanna Draheim said the $25,000 amount sounded low for what it will cost to put in new playground equipment and reseed, and Schmitt agreed, saying the City will have to pay for costs above that.
According to Schmitt, there is enough parking planned on site to accommodate the needs of the building. She said that the 60 planned spaces are enough for the apartments plus a daycare.
Schmitt told Council it appears there is interest by a third party in providing daycare at the site. (She did not provide details.)
CAHP will also be providing bicycle parking at the property.
Draheim asked about whether the Arts Commission has reviewed public art options for the project. Schmitt said it was being worked on and that the project had received Historic District Commission approval.
Councilmember Susan Woods asked if the gym in the building is going to be renovated as a way to satisfy the public art requirement. Schmitt said that idea is in the works but it is unclear if that could be approved because it may not meet the stated requirements.
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