Demolition for the Center City District project began Monday morning in downtown East Lansing.
A 12-story building with a Target store and apartments is set to be constructed on Grand River Ave between Urban Outfitters and Lou & Harry’s Bar and Grill. Eastbound Albert Avenue between Abbot Road and M.A.C Avenue is closed and will be for the foreseeable future. The sidewalk between Lou & Harry’s and Urban Outfitters is fenced off due to construction.
“We’re doing a seismic upgrade on Harry’s Bar and Grill through the the Verizon building down in the basement and throughout so its integrity stays intact on the Harry's restaurant and grill side,” Superintendent Christopher Judd of Christman Constructors said. “The remaining buildings will be demolished. Six of them to the west along Grand River will be completely demolished.”
In addition to the seismic upgrade, two parking attendant booths in the adjacent parking lot were torn down. The lot behind the Grand River businesses is the future site of a 10-story building, which will include retail and a parking structure.
“From what I’ve seen, it’s going to be amazing," Samantha Crabtree, manager of Rally House, said. “Yes, it’s a little inconvenient, but it’s definitely going to make the whole city of East Lansing a lot better.”
Construction is expected to be completed by December 2019. Traffic and sidewalk closings related to the project are a growing concern for East Lansing residents. Rally House sits in front of the future parking structure, and is surrounded by construction.
“It has impacted our business a little bit, just from the sidewalk being closed,” Crabtree said. “But not too bad and we’re working around it.”