The building that was once home to the Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe, which closed in Dec. 2021, will soon be demolished to make way for two new businesses.
In a recent city council meeting, City of East Lansing Planning & Zoning Administrator Peter Menser said that a 2,400-square-foot restaurant and 4,200-square-foot medical office will be constructed on the property, which is located at 1601 W. Lake Lansing Road.
The city recently approved a Site Plan and Special Use Permit for Lansing Retail Management II, LLC, the company that bought the property in March. The permit is needed to establish a drive-through window and lane for the restaurant, which will serve as fast-casual dining with an outdoor seating area.
“I definitely think it is going to be a Chipotle,” Menser said. “That’s what they’re telling us it is going to be.”
Mitchell Harvey of Stonefield Engineering and Design LLC, the company working on the design of the buildings, detailed further plans in a document submitted to the city. The restaurant will have 5 to 8 employees and operate from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. The medical office will have 8 to 12 employees and operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The medical office, he wrote, will service the surrounding residential communities within the greater East Lansing area.
There are currently 180 parking spaces on the site that Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe occupies. According to city documents, there will be 85 parking spaces in the reconfigured lot. Only 59 spaces are required by city ordinance – 26 for the medical office building and 33 for the restaurant.
Concerns have been raised about traffic patterns on Lake Lansing Road following the new developments. A community member wrote to the city that they "hope that part of the planning and development process includes signage for improved traffic patterns that would make exit and entry much safer."
During a city council meeting on July 12, Harvey said that the project will not result in a significant traffic increase. He said the medical care office is not much of a "traffic generator" and the restaurant will cause mostly "pass-by traffic," so a right-turn only from the parking lot onto Lake Lansing road is not necessary.
Menser said that the city expects to see progress on the property beginning in late summer.
“They've applied for the building permit, and so I would imagine that that'll be issued within the next month at the least,” Menser said. “There's a handful of things that we're still looking for, like details on the outdoor dining area that's proposed there … So they're gonna get us all that, and they can start demoing it.”
Project manager Jordan Chapman did not respond for comment at the time of publication.
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