The Fight for Hillcrest Village

By: Nick LaFave
By: Nick LaFave

The 70-year-old Hillcrest Village Apartments of East Lansing are in jeopardy. The Mannausa family, who's owned the buildings since the 1970's, wants to tear the historic buildings down and rebuild high-rise condominiums.

To do so they will need permission from the East Lansing City Council and the Historic Preservation Board. But first, they need the East Lansing Planning Board to approve a rezoning of the area.

The new zoning requirements sought by the Mannausa family would allow buildings to occupy 100 percent of the land space, as opposed to the current 60 percent. It would also allow the buildings to reach a maximum height of 120 feet. 85 feet taller than the buildings currently stand.

For the most part, residents in and around Hillcrest Village are opposed to the idea. They do not want high rise condos in their residential neighborhood. They say it would destroy the scenery and invite too many college students to the area.

Jerry Mannausa says the buildings are falling apart, and it would too expensive to maintain them or remodel. Mannausa says he understands these are people's homes, but the apartment complex is also a business.

No vote was taken at the Planning Board meeting on Wednesday. It was simply a public hearing. A City Council meeting on this issue is scheduled for a later date.


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