Center City District

Transforming Downtown East Lansing

The Center City District project rredeveloped the Albert Avenue parking lot and 100-200 block along E. Grand River Avenue in donwtown East Lansing, positioning th earea as a pedestrian-focused active living district. The project includes two new apartment complexes, a new parking structure, retail and dining and one of only 35 urban Target stores nationwide with an urban grocery option.

The development team, consisting of East Lansing’s own Ballein Family and the Chicago-based developer Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors, originally proposed the Center City District development in February 2017. The $132 million project, which will create 57 full-time jobs and 400-500 prevailing wage construction jobs, was completed in summer of 2019. It leveraged incentives approved by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) and a Brownfield plan.




full-time Jobs Created


one of 35 urban Target stores nationwide

Community Impact

The State of Michigan’s $15.7 billion dairy industry is aided by the most productive cows in the nation, with milk production doubling since 2000. While positive alone, this increased productivity has left more than 1,200 dairy farm families around the state on the precipice of collapse, suffering from low prices caused by oversupply. The issue of oversupply is best resolved by bringing more processing to the area, a solution achieved through the St Johns Dairy Processing Campus which is expected to reduce Michigan’s over supply by 80% and reduce distance and transportation costs for Michigan’s dairy farmers. In addition, Proliant’s facility being co-located on the same campus eliminates transportation costs for manufacturing the whey permeate byproducts.

Locally, the project will infuse nearly 300 jobs into the local job market, with average wages anticipated to be $24.67/hour, 15.9% above the region’s average wage.

Funding Mechanisms

  • 2015 EPA Brownfield Grant

Project Partners

  • Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors
  • Ballein Family
  • City of East Lansing
  • Michigan Economic Development Corporation


Project Type

Real Estate Redevelopment


East Lansing, Ingham County

LEAP Contact
Dillon Rush
Director of Business Attraction
Project News