City of Lansing Announces New Project to Redevelop Blighted Properties in Downtown Area Neighborhood

New Mixed-Use Project to Create Jobs, Diversify Housing Options, and Add New Retail Opportunities

LANSING, Mich.  Mayor Virg Bernero and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) announced a new mixed-use redevelopment project on West Ionia Street this morning. The Belen Buildings project will be completed by Vesta Building, and involves a complete rehabilitation of the existing and functionally obsolete buildings (513 and 519 W. Ionia) formerly the location of Belen Floral.

“I’m excited that Vesta is willing to put in the work to transform this former neighborhood gem into an attractive, new mixed-use space,” said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. “Once again, we see how important redevelopment incentives are for restoring these properties from unsightly blight into residential and retail spaces that are so valuable to our neighborhoods, and to diversifying our housing options. Not to mention, we benefit from adding a few jobs to our community.”

The project includes the renovation of two 2-story buildings totaling 9,132 square feet, and will result in a total of 4,500 square feet of office/retail space on the first floor, and six market-rate residential units above.

“The two 1920s era buildings located at 513 Ionia St. are best known for being the longtime home of Lucile Belen’s Flower shop. I’m excited to be redeveloping these buildings back into a stable anchor of the neighborhood as they once were,” said Scott Schmidt of Vesta Builders, the project developer. “To do this, the improvements we’ll be making will hold true to the historical standards of the 1920s, and we’ll be enhancing the site with seating areas and rain gardens to increase community green space in the neighborhood.”

The total project cost is estimated at $1.3 million dollars, and will create 15 to 20 temporary construction jobs and four to six new permanent jobs.

The developer has asked for a brownfield incentive from the City of Lansing, which would reimburse the company approximately $220,420 over the next 19 years in brownfield costs. The developer will fund these costs up front as part of the overall project cost, and the brownfield cost reimbursement will be paid for from the future increase in property taxes, paid for by the developer on the new, more valuable property. The Belen Buildings project was approved by the Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority on Friday, April 7, 2017, will subsequently require approvals by the Lansing City Council and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The project is expected to be completed in June 2018.

“LEAP is excited to be working with Vesta Builders and the City of Lansing to refresh the economic impact  of a blighted area right in the heart of the State—downtown Lansing”, said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “Within blocks of the Capital, the Belen Buildings project will re-activate a space in the downtown neighborhood with new jobs, new residential options, and new retail to be enjoyed by the neighborhood and visitors alike.”


About LEAP

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all—working every day to grow, retain and attract business.