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Dynamic development

Greater Lansing sees growth in urban market


Location and flexibility are the operative words in Lansing’s housing market today. More and more, residents choose to live near work and entertainment—trending toward smaller units in higher-density developments. Demand for upscale urban housing is high and new downtown developments like Midtown, Marketplace, Knapp’s Centre and others are meeting the demand.

Midtown, located on Michigan Avenue on the site of the former Silver Dollar Saloon, is made up of studio, one- and two-bedroom units as well as commercial space. The property was vacant for a number of years when Gillespie Group, a Lansing developer, saw an opportunity.

“Midtown functions as an epicenter for multicultural dialogue and exchange,” said Jennifer Charette, Director of Property Management and Operations for Gillespie Group. “It is home to a community of residents who want to engage with others around the world and have unique residential experiences.”

Marketplace, another Gillespie project, is just blocks from restaurants, entertainment and the recently reconstructed Lansing City Market, which features more than 20 merchants. The development makes the most of its riverfront location with leisure activities such as bike rentals, concerts and green space for community events.

“Marketplace is Lansing’s destination location for social gathering and entertainment venues,” Charette said.

The entire region is benefitting from growth, according to Nick Eyde, Project Developer and Sales Agent for Eyde Company, who notes Downtown and the Michigan Avenue corridor are hotspots for development. Eyde Company recently opened the redeveloped Knapp’s Centre, historic home of Knapp’s Department Store. The 75-year-old Art Deco building—a downtown icon—has been converted into housing, office space and a high-end restaurant.

The demand for urban housing will continue as Millennials enter the home-buying market, according to Meghan Webber, CEO of the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors. She notes condominium sales have increased over the last year and the demand for multigenerational housing is growing as the community becomes more culturally diverse.

In addition to downtown developments, several mid-Michigan employers are expanding, triggering growth in surrounding areas.

“The Jackson National Life expansion will create a need for housing in and around Okemos and Mason,” Webber said. “The new Michigan State University Facility for Rare Isotope Beams will also create a housing demand in East Lansing, Haslett and Okemos.”

While prices remain affordable, home values in the region are on the rise and current economic data points to a continuation of that trend. In 2014, the median sale price rose 14 percent to $119,500. In an effort to help those just entering the housing market, The Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS has invested in Down Payment Resource, a program that combines listing data with information about specific homebuyer assistance programs.

Meridian Township, Delhi Township and DeWitt are the hottest areas for new home building permits, according to Cindy Kosloski, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Greater Lansing.

“Numbers are trending up and developments bring jobs and stability to the region,” she said.

She notes consumers are increasingly focused on energy efficient designs and Energy Star rated features. Area builders have developed a reputation for using eco-friendly building materials and designs that conserve energy.

This dynamic region offers a vast array of housing options for any budget—from student housing and downtown lofts to condominiums and single-family homes.

See an area realtor for expert assistance with housing or visit the Chambers of Commerce for more information on the neighborhoods and communities that make up the Greater Lansing area. 

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