The site of the old Lansing city market is a vacant and dilapidated parking lot now.
Rendering of the Gillespie Marketplace development along the Grand River in downtown Lansing.
But not for long
And that's leaving President and CEO of Lansing's Economic Area Partnership, Bob Trezise feeling optimistic.
"Today is a big day because the Marketplace is underway," Trezise said. " Trucks are digging and it's going to add another element to our riverfront."
Developer Pat Gillespie said the timing to finally get the project underway couldn't be better.
"You're just now seeing the economy, the new normal, where everyone is starting to figure out a way to work with the new normal and this is just part of that process," Gillespie said.
The planned mixed use development will initially offer residential units aimed to be completed by the end of 2014. Commercial is planned to be added in later phases.
"It's a phenomenon really that people are moving back to the urban core and they're looking for product and it's badly needed in the marketplace now."
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said having so much valuable and under-developed land on prime riverfront real estate offer some very unique opportunities for developers that they wouldn't be able to find in other cities.
"When you develop around the riverfront, it really brings people and it brings a level of activity," he said. "It just tuns it up a notch and there's a natural attraction with the river and we've got quite a riverfront."
The Marketplace apartments will offer one and two bedroom units ranging in price from $850 to $1,000 per month to rent.