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New Housing Community Planned for Former Story Oldsmobile Site

May 11, 2015

LANSING – A Georgia developer plans to build a 9-story building with 359 apartments and retail space on the former Story Oldsmobile site on Michigan Avenue.

The proposed $77 million project, dubbed “SkyVue on Michigan,” is aimed at young professionals and students, with 40 percent of the apartments having one bedroom and one bathroom, said Matt Marshall, vice president of development for RISE, based in Atlanta, Ga.

“We think there is a market here for that that has not been tapped into,” Marshall said during a news conference Thursday afternoon. “We think there is a lot of great, pent up demand for that.”

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero called it “big doin’s, big stuff.”

Bernero said the development should help “attract and retain” young people who want to live in an urban core, close to everything they need.

“We need cool places for them to live and shop and eat. That’s what they expect, and that’s what we’re building right here.”

RISE hopes to begin construction in November and finish the project by mid-2017. The project will need local and state tax incentives to go forward, officials said.

Steve Willobee, chief operating officer for the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), said he expects the project will quality for brownfield redevelopment incentives. Officials also plan to work with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Lansing City Council on incentives, according to a news release. It was unclear when plans might go before the Council.

The SkyVue site is directly across Michigan Avenue from the former Red Cedar Golf Course, where another development group plans a $276 million mixed-use project called “Red Cedar Renaissance.”

Together, those projects represent more than $350 million in private investment in the Michigan Avenue Corridor, officials said.

Joel Ferguson, who is developing the Red Cedar project in concert with Frank Kass, chairman of Ohio-based Continental Real Estate Cos, said he hadn’t heard details of the SkyVue project. But everyone is telling him it will mesh with Red Cedar to make the area more vibrant, he said.

“On first blush, I’m open and not paranoid about it,” he said. “It could compliment us. We could feed off each other.”

The Red Cedar project includes a hotel, restaurant and meeting rooms and housing geared toward college students, professionals and retirees. Construction was expected to begin early next year.

RISE specializes in campus developments and has built more than 35,000 student housing beds over the past decade, according to its website. It is just starting to expand into Michigan.

Marshall said the 667,000-square-foot SkyVue project in Lansing is based on a similar RISE project under construction in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

It would have one- and two-bedroom apartments, community rooms on each floor, indoor athletic courts, 4,000 square feet of retail space and a parking facility on the north side of the property, he said.

See more at Lansing State Journal