Best of Development 2011
We’re always trying to figure out ways to substantiate growth in the Capital region. Well, development is a prime example - and in 2011 it was hard to ignore. That’s why we’re dedicating the final issue of Capital Gains (for the year, that is!) to the landmark projects 2011 has brought to the Greater Lansing area. Some are big; others are smaller. However, they all represent ideas and investments that will bolster the growth and future of innovation, creativity, health, community and culture within our region.
Downtown Lansing has been eagerly awaiting the completion of the Accident Fund’s new headquarters
in the former Lansing Board of Water & Light Ottawa Street Power Station for years now, and the wait is finally over. The grand opening of the building, which took place on March 29, marked the beginning of the 650-employee transition.
The move also marks $182 million invested in a 334,000-square-foot historic site and room for the company to add 500 more employees over the next ten years. The major renovation project, which was overseen by The Christman Company, was completed utilizing 90 percent Michigan-based contractors, employing 106 statewide.
Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital’s
AL!VE Health Park in Charlotte
is clipping along, thanks in part to a mild fall and steady work from the project troupe of contractors — more than 90 percent of whom are Michigan-based businesses.
The AL!VE facility initiative is viewed by the hospital as a “collaborative, “placemaking” venture bringing together medical professionals, health and wellness experts and members of the community.” Its unique design and aesthetic is synergic with the mission of the hospital.
"When we talk about the health at the hospital, we aren’t just talking about physical health," says Patrick Sustrich, MS, director of health and wellness services at HGB. "We’re talking about regional health, economic health. AL!VE has already helped the health of Michigan by providing more than 200 construction jobs."
The future AL!VE Health Park will total about 65,000 square feet once all project phases are completed.
Neighborhood Empowerment Center
Moving into the former School for the Blind Library - now known as the Neighborhood Empowerment Center - was the culmination of a lot of planning, organizing and investing by the Greater Lansing Housing Coalition
The city helped fund the $2.1 million project with $850,000 in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Grant
funding, which allowed GLHC to proceed with the purchase and renovation of the 17,000 square foot building in the Old Town
district. Not only is the GLHC now operating out of the building, but the organization’s four tenants - Head Start
, the Ingham County Land Bank
, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program
, and the Spring Garden Project - have moved in as well.
"The intent of the building was to create a one-stop shopping area for all of the community’s housing-related needs," says Katherine Draper, GLHC executive director. "We also have a lot of public areas here to visit and use for meeting space, and a town hall center."
The dream has been a long time coming, but after years of planning and building community partnerships, The Center for New Enterprise Opportunity
- or NEO Center - is a reality.
Construction is officially complete at the former Clark Street print shop that now houses NEO Center. The 8,600 square foot facility is a LEED certified business incubator including space for 21 businesses, co-working space, conference rooms, a workout center and office space for building owners and contractors, Kincaid Henry.
“The Ingham County Land Bank
was critical in making this happen,” says Ryan Henry, COO of Kincaid Henry. The Land Bank originally purchased the property and facilitated the financing package that made the NEO Center project possible.
After three years, $91 million and nearly 900 jobs created for construction workers, Delta Dental
unveiled their renovated headquarters, which was expanded by 28,000 square feet. Also constructed was a new 90,000 square foot office building and 22,500 square foot data center.
The construction was completed to conform to LEED standards, and Delta Dental is currently seeking Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“We thought that was very important because building green really helps us create a work environment that promotes health and productivity and reduces our impact on the environment,” says Nancy Hostetler, Senior Vice President of Corporate and Public Affairs for Delta Dental. “It’s very consistent with Delta Dental’s core values.”
Marshall Street Armory
What was at one time a gymnasium, a lecture hall and ballroom for Michigan State University (MSU)
and the primary site for military drills while hosting the 1st Battalion 119th Field Artillery
has been “transformed inside and out to serve as an efficient workplace and a comfortable, effective public meeting space for local and statewide philanthropic efforts.”
In essence, the 41,000 square foot building is somewhat of a nonprofit hub/incubator, housing the headquarters of organizations like the Capital Region Community Foundation, Michigan Nonprofit Association, Michigan Association of United Ways and the Food Bank Council of Michigan.
Built in 1924, the Armory’s rich history was also preserved.
Peckham Warehouse Facility
has been providing job training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities since 1976. After more than three decades of growth, the nonprofit is now expanding their capabilities with a new 250,000 square foot warehouse.
Like their new Old Town
headquarters, opened in March of 2009
, the new warehouse facility on Grand River in Lansing will be LEED certified. The purpose of the building will be to make their operations more efficient.
"Peckham is excited about creating a sustainable warehouse which has the capacity to consolidate our warehousing needs in a more efficient space," says Jo Sinha, Peckham corporate vice president.
Construction on the new facility began in Oct. 2010, with $7.8 million invested in the project. Other firms involved in the build are the Michigan companies, Pioneer Construction
, Integrated Architecture
and the civil engineering firm, Bergmann Associates, Inc.
Artie’s Filling Station
On his daily commute to his Ithaca business, Schrader Environmental
, Old Town
resident Dale Schrader would pass a deteriorating old gas station on Grand River, and a neighboring home.
“I just always thought they were cool properties,” he says. “It was such a prominent corner there in Old Town, I thought it was important for them to be fixed up.”
Though the 3,200 square foot residence and 260 square foot commercial property were just $15,000 and $25,000 respectively, Schrader rolled up his sleeves to pour time, care and more than $100,000 into the pair. Façade work for the gas station was boosted by a $7,500 Lansing Economic Development Corporation
Schrader’s gas station will soon be the home of Artie’s Filling Station
, a specialty coffee shop. Owner, John Miller, has also partnered with Fork in the Road
diner to serve his coffee (you can head there to try it now).
The vacant Walker Building
in Old Town has a much richer history than that of an abandoned dollar store, and now it will have a much brighter history. The two-story, 8,000 square foot building on North Washington will receive a $600,000 makeover starting in early June.
“There are a lot of reasons to love this project,” says Tony Beyers of Vesta Building Industries
. “There is a great sense of satisfaction from restoring an obsolete and deteriorating property into an example of what we can do if we put forth the effort to restore our past.”
The Walker Building has been a part of Lansing since 1909 and historically housed a grocer and the local carpenters union, among other uses. Its future use will be two units of first floor commercial space and five lofts on second floor.
The project is a partnership between Vesta Building Industries, owner Dr. Sam Saboury, the Lansing Economic Development Corporation, the City of Lansing and the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority.
The corner of Michigan Avenue and Marshall Street in Lansing is about to get a long-awaited facelift. “There hasn’t really been any new development on Michigan Ave. on the eastside outside of Sparrow,” says developer Scott Gillespie of The Gillespie Company
of his proposed $1.4 million mixed used project. “This will be the first in many, many years and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
The finished product will be a 14,380 square foot, three-story building featuring 12 to 13 apartments and commercial space on the first floor. Gillespie has recently signed with Subway Restaurants as a tenant for about half of the commercial space. Approximately 2,000 square feet of commercial space is still available. The residential portion of the building will include a variety of studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments.
Suban Nur Cooley
and Natalie Burg
are the managing editor and news editor of Capital Gains. You can learn more about them by clicking these words
, or scrolling to the bottom of our home page to click on the "About Capital Gains" link. Completely up to you.
is the managing photographer for Capital Gains. He is a freelance photographer and owner of Trumpie Photography.
Marshall Street Armory
Photos © Dave Trumpie