A sprawling development at a closed Lansing golf course would emphasize tall buildings, line Michigan Avenue with stores and restaurants and hide parking from the street.
Local developer Joel Ferguson and his team on Wednesday introduced their early concept for a proposed $125 million project at the former Red Cedar Golf Course — a project that would include student housing near Michigan State University, market-rate housing for professionals and MSU faculty members, shopping and dining and a public park.
Developers said they would attempt to improve walking and biking along the Michigan Avenue corridor, which is difficult for pedestrians to cross in the area near the golf course, Frandor Shopping Center and U.S. 127. And the development would tie into the area’s water resources, namely the Red Cedar River, which itself is one of the project’s biggest challenges.
“Some people think that we’re crazy, that we should try to make this Chandler Crossing East. No way,” said Ferguson, referring to the large student housing complex on Chandler Road in Bath Township. “We happen to believe there’s a strong market, and so we’re going to build an outstanding community.”
About 50 people attended Wednesday’s event, which will be the first of three public meetings, known as charrettes, designed to get public feedback. Roughly 20 acres of the 61-acre site are located in the Red Cedar River floodway and will be dedicated as a public park, developers said.
Ingham County Drain Commissioner Patrick Lindemann also will incorporate plans to fix storm runoff that drains into the Red Cedar River from area commercial properties.
Ferguson is joined by development partner Frank Kass, chairman of Columbus, Ohio-based Continental Real Estate Cos. Developers are covering the $28,500 charrette cost, which includes bringing in outside consultants, holding meetings and compiling the feedback into a final report.
Kass has a background in multi-use development, including offices, housing and retail.
“We are very market driven and we understand what will work financially,” he said. “The only thing that’s worse than having no development here is having one that fails. And we’re here to tell you we don’t fail.”
Other charrettes are tentatively scheduled for March 13 and April 3. The planning process should be completed by April 17.
Lansing State Journal, February 13, 2014