Development project looks to expand Eastwood Towne Center
Construction work continues at a nearby development project on the site of Eastwood Towne Center, with officials hopeful that the new attraction will draw in MSU students.
The Heights at Eastwood, a Lansing Township development project expected to cost about $22 million to build, will feature four restaurants, a five-story parking garage and a performing arts center, with the potential for additional office and retail space.
When the development is fully utilized, the cost could approach $60 million, Lansing Township Supervisor John Daher said.
The project is being paid for through the issuing of municipal bonds.
The Heights also will feature about 124 luxury apartments scheduled to open in 2013.
The apartments are expected to be operated by Lansing-based DTN Management Co.
Officials are optimistic that the facility’s apartments will draw in young professionals.
But Allen Russell, the development and management director for DTN Management, said the group only expects a small number of MSU students to live there.
“I suspect we’ll get a few, but I don’t think it’s either going to be a major draw or a major target in terms of housing,” he said. “We don’t look at this primarily as something that would attract students because of proximity to campus.”
Plans for the development originally were proposed in October 2009.
The Lansing Township development’s grand opening is scheduled for Sept. 12, but one restaurant, Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza, could open as soon as May 15, said Chuck Senatore, a co-founder of the development’s restaurant concepts.
The development also will feature Bar 30, a restaurant and nightclub, and two restaurants within the parking garage — a steak and seafood restaurant and a Latin-style restaurant.
The nightclub could be a draw to nearby MSU students, Senatore said.
“I would imagine MSU students are going to be our primary customers for the dance facility,” he said. “We’re just really thrilled to be part of the expansion out here.”
The development’s proximity to the university provides yet another entertainment option for students, Daher said.
“I know a lot of students enjoy the downtown experience (in East Lansing),” he said.
“Eastwood is certainly another option.”
Packaging junior Ivan Darling said while he might consider journeying north to the new development, East Lansing’s nightlife is more enticing because of its proximity to students.
“It’s kind of far away, so I would probably stay on campus,” he said.
But for students who already reside in the area north of campus, the new development could be a more viable option.
Statistics sophomore Dennis Davidson, who lives at The Landings at Chandler Crossings, near Eastwood, said he doesn’t normally venture to the center frequently, but would go if they featured better-quality restaurants.
“It’s more of like a shopping mall,” he said, adding that the nightclub could draw student interest if patrons under 21 are allowed in. “There’s not much to do out here for nightlife.”