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New South Washington redevelopments to create jobs and diversify REO Town commercial space

Wednesday, July 26, 2017  
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Sleepwalker Spirits & Ale and Wheel House Pottery Studio to Open in Renovated REO Town Buildings

This morning, Mayor Virg Bernero and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) announced the redevelopment of two adjacent properties located at 1101 and 1103 South Washington Avenue in REO Town. Through the renovation of the two properties, the existing structures will be transformed into vibrant new mixed-use spaces in Lansing’s REO Town district.

“Redevelopment of existing buildings is booming all over the city, helping us keep and create quality jobs in Lansing and providing a venue for terrific new businesses led by talented entrepreneurs," said Mayor Bernero. "Leveraging our existing assets and strong collaborative partnerships are key to the city’s long-term competitiveness, and these redevelopment projects are great examples of both.”

With an estimated $100,000 investment, Super Fancy Too, LLC, will redevelop the property located at 1101 South Washington. Included in the project is a first floor rennovation that will become the future home of Sleepwalker Spirits and Ale, a local craft beer brewery and restaurant previously located in the Allen Market Place kitchen incubator. The second floor will undergo significant cosmetic renovation for use as office space. The resulting expansion of Sleepwalker Spirits & Ale will create an estimated 12 new full-time jobs.

Directly next door at 1103 South Washington Avenue, local developer REO Life, LLC will invest approximately $372,855 to rehabilitate the building into a mixed-use commercial building. REO Life, LLC is owned and operated by local artist and teacher Daniel Nunez, who will transform the first floor into the future home of the Wheel House Pottery Studio.

"It's been my privledge to teach Lansing how to play with mud for over a decade,” said Nunez. “While I loved being a ceramics instructor for high schools, non-profits, and parks and recreation, I have always dreamed of opening my own studio. Wheel House is that studio, and now all we need to do is build it. Fortunately, I've got a mess of friends and family supporting me, including LEAP and the City of Lansing.”

In addition, the second floor of 1103 South Washington will undergo significant structural and cosmetic renovation to make way for two apartments. The project is expected to create approximately two new full-time jobs.

Both South Washington redevelopments have applied for Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act Certificates (OPRA), which abate a portion of the future tax increases resulting from building improvements. The OPRA Certificates require approval by the Lansing City Council and the State of Michigan Tax Commission. Pending approval, renovations are expected to be completed in 2018.

Through our City of Lansing contract, LEAP has worked hard to encourage economic development in all areas of the city. In REO Town specifically, we have literally been watching these efforts take shape through our front windows,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “It’s very rewarding to see the city’s prior investment in streetscape enhancements resulting in growing private investment in the community, which fosters a sustainable environment for small business development and increased opportunity and choice for residents.” 

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