Five developments to watch in East Lansing in 2023

East Lansing is expecting a number of exciting developments in 2023, including a company developing its North American headquarters in the city and MSU Federal Credit Union opening its downtown office building.

Three developments finishing construction this upcoming year are investing more than $61 million. And two developments that are still being fine-tuned could bring more housing and office space to the city.

City Planning Director Tom Fehrenbach said moving into the new year he hopes the city will see more growth aligned with the community’s vision, as well as more investments in the city’s future, making it a place where his kids will want to stay when they grow up .

Here are five developments to watch for in East Lansing in 2023.

MSU Federal Credit Union

  • 311 Abbot Rd
  • What we’ll see in 2023: Completion and opening

For the second year in a row, MSU Federal Credit Union’s $29 million downtown office building tops the lists of developments to watch, according to Fehrenbach.

“They do a lot in terms of partnering with community organizations and seeing that happen downtown, in the center of gravity for downtown, is going to be really exciting and all the people that that will bring,” he said.

MSUFCU broke ground for the seven-story, 81,000-square-foot commercial building in late 2021 and plans to open in June.

An MSUFCU branch will operate on the ground floor, and there will be additional commercial space. The second floor is planned event space for the credit union or community groups. Floors three to seven will include office space for MSUFCU or for tenants.

Fehrenbach said the company is working on the building’s interior, including finishing brick and window work for the “fairly complicated” build due to its downtown location.

The building could initially be home to more than 100 people, with potential to grow “considerably more” adding to downtown’s daytime population and demand for products and services, he said.

The strongest part of the city’s economy is the MSU student population and the people who visit for events, such as football games. City officials are trying to expand downtown attractions after the COVID-19 pandemic when students were not on campus. Which is why the new MSUFCU building is exciting.

“Because it’s a significant investment, a large building, that is our No. 1 sales tax generating company, saying, ‘We want to be in downtown, we want to put a significant presence in downtown,’ and the people that come along with that,” Fehrenbach said.

The Krimson master plan for an East Lansing housing proposal on Coleman and West roads.

The Coleman/West Property

  • Southwest of the Coleman and West roads intersection
  • What we’ll see in 2023: Negotiations, plan development

More than 300 new apartments and townhomes could come to this nearly 27-acre, city-owned property, depending on what happens in 2023.

East Lansing-based Krimson, in partnership with Rockford Construction of Grand Rapids and Progressive AE of Plainfield Township, is proposing 316 units including one-, two-, and three-bedroom units and 100 townhomes for the currently vacant property.

The total development cost is an estimated $75.8 million and the developers would seek city support with a brownfield tax increment financing program. The project’s total duration would be an estimated 30 to 35 months, according to the project proposal. Its annual income would be about $4.1 million.

The city requested housing proposals for the property this year, hoping to address the “significant missing middle gap,” Fehrenbach said.

He said city officials requested different price points, unit sizes and designs to accommodate people who want to age in the community and downsize from a single-family home, people starting their careers and people with low to moderate income.

“Those are some of the sweet spots in terms of those gaps that we have in our housing,” he said.

He said City Council could be near a decision on whether to move forward with the Krimson proposal at its first January meeting. Negotiating the land purchase and going through the approval process could take six months.

“So we’ll spend a lot of time on that, I’m sure, in ’23,” he said.

The area of ​​the Evergreen properties development site on the 300 block of Evergreen Avenue photographed in 2021 in East Lansing.

Evergreen properties

  • 314 to 344 Evergreen Ave.
  • What we’ll see in 2023: Plan development

River Caddis has planned to put an eight-story, mixed-use building with 250,000 square feet of commercial office space downtown, but those plans could change dramatically in the next six months.

A company representative recently asked the East Lansing Downtown Development Authority to extend a memorandum of understanding between the two to develop the property for another six months, giving them time to develop a new project concept, Fehrenbach said.

The new concept could be dramatically different or remain similar if the developer finds a company that wants that much office space, he said.

“The likelihood of that happening, I think, is pretty low,” he said. “But we don’t have a crystal ball. It could certainly happen. But what the market’s telling us is that folks want smaller footprints.”

River Caddis proposed building the Central Innovation, Technology and Arts District of East Lansing — CITADEL — which also includes retail/restaurant space along with office space, in early 2020. It was exciting at the time, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on it, Fehrenbach said.

So the developer may pivot three years later and has six months to produce a compelling project for the DDA and ultimately the city. After that there will be a significant amount of public engagement and steps leading to planning entitlements.

Fehrenbach doesn’t foresee shovels in the ground this upcoming year but significant progress moving forward to starting the project in earnest in 2024.

“The DDA and the city are really thinking about this as a critical 1.08 acres that’s proximate to the center of downtown and our 5-acre urban park,” he said. “That’s the goal to really tie this area together.”

Construction is underway for the WoodSpring Suites extended-stay hotel in East Lansing on Dec.  28, 2022.

WoodSpring Suites

  • 3225 West Rd
  • What we’ll see in 2023: Completion and opening

Concord Hospitality started construction in April for this $6.5 million, four-story, 48,660-square-foot extended stay hotel on 4.5 acres.

The property is slated to open in summer 2023, according to Concord Hospitality Senior Development Director Paul Duncan in a past interview.

The 122-room hotel will be branded WoodSpring Suites. According to WoodSpring Suites website, instead of booking on a nightly basis like a traditional hotel, its guests tend to book for a week, month or longer.

Anticipated rates are between $400 and $450 per week, according to part of the site plan application East Lansing City Council approved.

This type of hotel’s guests often include traveling nurses, construction workers, relocating professionals and displaced families from events like storms. Fehrenbach thinks it could be attractive for visiting professors.

“That actually is an important missing gap in our market as well,” he said. “So we’re excited about that.”

Germany-based company ATESTEO plans to make East Lansing its North America headquarters.

ATESTEO North America Inc.

  • 3400 West Rd
  • What we’ll see in 2023: Completion and opening

ATESTEO North America Inc., a subsidiary of ATESTEO and the IHO Group that works with automotive manufacturers to develop and test-drive trains, is making East Lansing its North American headquarters with a long-term lease and expansion plans in the city.

The company will spend about $700,000 on building improvements and $26 million on machinery and equipment in the first five years. It will add 46 new jobs within its first three years operating — mostly engineers, technicians, mechanics and electricians — with average salaries of more than $69,000, according to East Lansing’s website.

The company is seeking site plan approvals for modifications it’s making to its building and has an East Lansing Planning Commission public hearing scheduled Jan. 11. The company’s expected to open in late 2023, Fehrenbach said.

He said the ATESTEO development is exciting because East Lansing has very few industrial uses, so to activate this and bring highly paid jobs to the city is great.

It also represents companies in East Lansing that are there because of the relationships with MSU’s campus, access to the right type of talent and providing opportunities to that pipeline. To Fehrenbach, that’s the most exciting part.

“Because I really think that’s the key to our growth,” he said, “…to tap into the thousands of talented people that emanate every year from MSU and try to keep some of that talent locally and create a continuum of talented people being attracted here for MSU but staying, because there’s job opportunities that are interesting and that pay well, and joining our community for a lifetime.”

Contact Bryce Airgood at 517-267-0448 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @bairgood123.

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