Sunday, September 27, 2020

$250 million Red Cedar project to break ground on hotels

September 5, 2019
<p>Red Cedar Project renderings. COURTESY OF CONTINENTAL/FERGUSON LLC</p>

Red Cedar Project renderings. COURTESY OF CONTINENTAL/FERGUSON LLC

Lansing-based Continental/Ferguson LLC will break ground next month on infrastructure for two hotels in the Red Cedar development project near SkyVue apartments, according to a release from the developers. 

The construction for the hotels is slated to begin next summer and is expected to be finished by 2022. The cost of the entire Red Cedar development project, which will include the hotels, a student living complex and a senior living complex, is estimated to exceed $250 million.

The project was approved in April

Hyatt House and AC by Marriott will share a common check-in area, housekeeping staff, and will function in many ways as one hotel with two brand names under the management of North Carolina-based Concord Hospitality.

This dual-branded hotel is expected to afford that luxury to business and university travel. The development is spearheaded by Michigan State University Trustee Joel Ferguson and developer Frank Kass.

“We’ve lacked a first-class hotel that people from MSU, people from the insurance industry that are trying to attract employees, investment and things like that … would actually drive to Grand Rapids or Ann Arbor and drive them back to this area,” Chris Stralkowski, Executive Project Manager for Ferguson Development, said. “We did not have a hotel that was up to the expectations of some of the people that were being courted.” 

A green retaining wall will be constructed to obstruct the view of the parking structure to be built underneath the hotels, which will occupy six stories of an eight-story high structure. The hotels will feature a ground-level pool, ballroom and restaurant, as well as a sixth-floor dining area.

“This will be a tremendous asset and investment for Lansing and the region as we’re finally developing an underused, yet important, area and a critical link connecting East Lansing and MSU to Lansing and the Capitol catalyzing the Michigan Avenue corridor,” Ferguson said in a statement.

The development project will be funded in part by tax increment financing, which will reimburse the investors of the project $50 million over 30 years by using the increased property tax value from the development.

Part of the project will include a pedestrian walkway connecting East Lansing to Lansing through the Lansing River Trail, which Lansing City Council member Jody Washington said was a major asset to the project back when it was initially proposed in March.

“Right now, there seems to be this invisible barrier between the two cities,” she said at the time.

Stralkowski said Lansing has been historically underserved in terms of high-end hotels, pointing to the Radisson near the Capitol, as an example.

“When you’re trying to attract someone to either invest or to relocate or to put down roots … what are you gonna do, stick them in the Radisson?” Stralkowski said. 

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