The sky's not the limit for the St. Anne Luxury Lofts.
Instead of four floors, the building currently under construction stands five stories tall, and that's not what the developer and city council agreed on.
"The developer submitted building plans later on that included an optional fifth story," said East Lansing Planning and Community Development Director Tim Dempsey. "Once we realized that that fifth story was going to be included, we went back to the developer, who had to resubmit plans for approval by city council."
By that point, it was too late. The fifth floor was already there. Dempsey said it was a miscommunication due to a complicated situation involving numerous city departments and multiple parties on the developer's side.
"He was under the impression that he could go ahead and construct that - that we had adminstrative abilities, but in this case, we did not, because of the significance of the fifth story," Dempsey said.
Fifth story construction was halted as of last week.
"The developer can no longer do any interior build out," Dempsey said. "He is able to secure the exterior for safety purposes in terms of protecting the other floors. However, he cannot go any further than that until city council grants its approval."
The planning commission said it recommends city council approve the request, but some city council members weren't pleased with this process. If they deny the request, the fifth floor would have to be removed.
"Generally speaking, this is the nature of urban redevelopment," said Dempsey. "It's very complicated. Certainly we're trying to accomodate the developer so he can finish his project, but at the same time we have to make sure he adheres to all the regulations that the city has in place."
The developer couldn't be reached for comment, but Dempsey said he is cooperating.
"We continue to try to communicate back and forth," Dempsey said. "There are challenges on site on a daily basis. Communication between him and the on site crew has been good. We had some issues obviously early on, we've improved upon those. We have regular site meetings on site now, so we're doing these to be proactive to avoid any complications going forward."
City Council will hold a public hearing on the issue July 10. If they give fifth floor the go ahead, the permit could approved by the following day.
The other four floors are still on schedule. They're expected to open to tenants in August.