At their July 7 meeting, the East Lansing City Council approved site plans and special-use permits for a six-story mixed-use building on the corner of Grand River and Spartan avenues and a Lake Trust Credit Union on West Lake Lansing Road, near Meijer.
The mixed-use building is planned for 1301 and 1307 E. Grand River Ave. and 116-132 Spartan Ave., and its construction will require the demolition of the Tasty Treat building, Citgo gas station and Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house.
According to a city staff report, the building will include 4 one-bedroom, 26 two-bedroom, 12 three-bedroom and 20 four-bedroom apartments. It will also include 149 parking spaces with 1,739 square feet of commercial space on the first floor.
Although the site plan has been approved, the project will have to appear before council and the Downtown Development Authority once again in order for its Brownfield plan to be approved before it can move forward.
The second site plan and special-use permit approved at Tuesday’s meeting was for the property at 1350 W. Lake Lansing Road and involves the construction of a one-story credit union. Much discussion from councilmembers and residents of local neighborhoods took place before construction of the credit union was approved.
Multiple concerns, including headlights from vehicles entering and leaving the credit union parking lot, interior lighting of the building during nighttime hours and the use of plants to mitigate issues of lighting coming from the credit union, were voiced during the public hearing from both councilmembers and residents of the project’s surrounding neighborhoods.
After the public hearing was closed, conditions were added to the agreement that addressed hours of operation and interior lighting during nighttime hours. The project was unanimously approved by council.
“I am going to support this partly because I have seen over the course of time that this area is constantly going to keep coming before us, and I am convinced that in some point in time something is going to come up on this corner and the (residents) that are in this room that have been involved for 30-something years are not going to be here and are not going to be as protective of this corner as we continue on,” said Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris about the approval of the credit union project. “This is the lowest intensity use we could get in this area. It’s not something that will be open 24 hours, it does block some of the problems that we have right now.”
Councilmember Kathleen Boyle agreed that the credit union will be low intensity.
Boyle spoke to this when she said she is a part of the credit union and has never seen more than one or two other customers in the buildings currently occupied by Lake Trust Credit Union.
Construction for the credit union will begin once all of the permitting with city staff is completed. This building will replace the credit union’s current Frandor Shopping Center location.
Finally, council decided to defer further action for a site plan and special-use permit approval for the property at 565 E. Grand River Ave. until the August 4 city council meeting at the earliest. This project would involve the construction of a five-story mixed-use building with 5,041 square feet of commercial space on the first floor and a mix of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments on the upper floors. It would take place at the site of the old Taco Bell next to Moosejaw, if approved.