Oliver Towers Restoration to Move Forward After Michigan Strategic Fund Approval
Just a short block from the state Capitol building, the city of Lansing and representatives from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) celebrated last week a major step forward in redeveloping the long vacant Oliver Towers. Located at 310 N. Seymour Ave., Oliver Towers has been recognized as a blighted property for nearly twenty years, after a fire in 2000 damaged most of the structure.
“This project will transform a blighted, burned out building in the heart of our downtown into a new residential development,” said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. “With its proximity to the campus of Lansing Community College and the state Capitol, Oliver Towers will be an asset that brings people downtown to live, work and play.”
Oliver Towers was purchased by the Eyde Company and approved for redevelopment by the Lansing City Council in 2015. Following sale and approval, the developer discovered the cost of environmental remediation to be significantly more than expected, prompting the need to pursue additional state funding through the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF). Tuesday’s MSF board approval has now positioned the $8 million project to move forward.
The first floor after rehabilitation will include approximately 4,500 square feet of office and retail space, and the second through eighth floors will include 103 residential, micro-style units designed with the assistance of the Italian architectural firm, Barberini & Gunnell.
“The George F. Eyde Family, LLC, is excited to commence the restoration of another important component of our downtown and is another successful example of cooperation and collaboration — without which, this project would never occur,” said Mark Clouse, chief financial officer and general counsel for The Eyde Company. “Our thanks [go] to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation board and staff, the city of Lansing, LEAP and the Lansing Economic Development Corporation.”
In addition to MSF funding, the project was previously approved for a 7-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA) tax abatement by the Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and Lansing City Council in 2015. The OPRA incentive provides a reduction in new property taxes created by the developer’s investment into the property.
“I’m thrilled that the Oliver Towers renovation is moving forward, and I’m eager to welcome a fresh new set of options to the downtown core,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP. “Soon, we’ll have a modern and active building where the crumbled, decaying Oliver Towers structure once stood. This is the kind of project that helps to change the way downtown looks and feels: the kind of project that invites and keeps talent and businesses in the city.”
The project will begin with interior tear-out and environmental remediation in the coming weeks, and the project is slated for completion by December 2018.
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Kristopher Johnson is a Communications Specialist at M3 Group, earning his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. While currently residing in Lansing, Kristopher will always be a native of Detroit. He enjoys volunteering, listening to others and musing over contrasting insights. He is also fond of writing, keeping up with politics and watching too much story-driven anime.