New mixed-use building will be built where former Taco Bell sat vacant
The 565 Building, operated by Cron Management, LLC, started demolition and construction last week on a new downtown mixed-use building project at 565 E. Grand River Ave.
The building will be on the same lot as the old downtown East Lansing Taco Bell building and will be five stories, East Lansing director of planning, building and development Tim Dempsey said.
The first floor with be retail space and the upper floors will be apartments. The 36 apartments will range from one to three-bedroom units.
The project is set to open in August 2017 before the school year begins, Cron Management owner Douglas Cron said.
The building’s architecture will take some cues from the surrounding area, but that’s not all it will take.
The exterior will feature building materials left over from the construction of the neighboring Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.
“We obtained some stainless steel left over and some glass windows,” Cron said. “We’re bringing some of the art museum across the street into the building.”
But Cron wants it to be clear this is a case of inspiration, not imitation.
“It’s from the art museum, not something made to look like the art museum,” he said.
The building will also feature an outdoor public plaza with landscaping and seating, Cron said.
Cron Management owns several other downtown East Lansing buildings, including GameStop, Taco Bell, HopCat, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and the rest of the 565 buidling's block, among other properties.
Cron said this project will continue the style of those buildings.
City Manager George Lahanas said having another mixed-used building will be beneficial to the downtown, especially one sitting on previously unused space.
The former Taco Bell was built in the 1970s and had several tenants during its lifetime.
Knocking down the vacant building is an accomplishment in and of itself, Lahanas said.