East Lansing commissions study of more Hub towers

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With its first apartment buildings occupied for less than a year, The Hub is pushing for approval of a second East Lansing project. The initial towers opened at the start of the 2019 fall semester and The Hub hopes to begin construction for the expansion as soon as it has City Council approval. 

“We have always liked the East Lansing market,” said Core Spaces Chief Accounting Officer Andrew Wiedner at a Feb. 25 council meeting. “Our goal with the second project is to make the project more financially attractive.” 

Core Spaces operates out of Chicago and Austin and, according to its website,”Our goal is to identify, design, and build the best real estate in every educational market.”

Construction would take place along Bogue Street south of the first towers and would require the demolition of four properties. The new property would involve two 13-story buildings with 550 units across the two of them. This is down from the previous proposal of two 14-story buildings with 720 units, bringing the height down by over 12 feet as they look to meet East Lansing zoning laws. 

Under city law, the maximum height allowed for buildings is 140 feet high, which the new towers would meet at 139’9” inches. The 13-story buildings still exceed the maximum of 10 stories, however. 

Core Spaces has also responded to suggestions and adjusted its plans for sidewalks and alleys.

“Generally speaking, we think this project is good for the area,” said Core Spaces Senior Vice President of Development Rodney King. “We think there’s support from the market.”

The difference in the new Hub would be its focus on multi-bedroom apartments. 

“What we are hoping for is to have more of a range of different units,”  said Core Spaces attorney David Pierson. “The Hub really tends to have a much heavier concentration of studios, one-bedrooms and two’s. Really, in terms of rent, that’s the high end of the market. What we are wanting to do is to have more three- and four-bedroom units which allows, frankly, lower rent.”

At the meeting, some residents opposed the additional development. Council approved a $40,000 study of the plan. Several said it would be best to pause the approval process until after the study. Core Spaces representatives disagreed. 

“We are willing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars based on our data,” King said. “We feel the housing study may be redundant.”

The initial towers had a rough start in August 2019 because the company did not yet have a city certificate of occupancy the morning of move-in day. That was resolved, but some students complained about construction and maintenance issues afterward. A smoother move-in was promised.

“Move-in is not all going to happen all on one day ever again,” Pierson said. “There is no question that it will be staged over several days.” 

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