Vacant Temple Building could breathe new life into Old Town

Published: Oct. 14, 2019 at 1:13 PM EDT
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It's been a church, it's been a nightclub and for the last several years it's been a vacant building in Lansing's Old Town. But now the Temple building on E. Cezar Chavez could be turned into homes.

The Lansing City Council will receive plans Monday for what could be a massive overhaul for the Temple Building in Old Town, Lansing.

The Lansing icon was built in 1906 and has been vacant for decades.

The proposed redevelopment of the building would bring new retail spaces and parking to the area.

"It's really important because it bridges two neighborhoods actually both old town and north town so we're excited to see this piece of property that's been vacant for a while be reactivated into something new and exciting," said Mayor Andy Schor.

It will include new first floor retail and office space, along with 31 apartments to complement Old Town neighborhood's existing diverse mix of eclectic shops and rich culture.

"We want to have more people living in Lansing especially in the Old Town, North Town area so being able to reactivate that is going to be a tremendous excitement," said Schor.

The building plan calls for a 54 space parking garage ,something business owners say would be a huge help to the area.

"I think that that's much needed and certainly something to think about when you're bringing in more residential and commercial office space," said Lynn Ross, owner of Mother & Earth Baby Boutique.

Officials say it's supporting the project because of the major impact it could have on the city.

"Lansing's time is now," said Schor. "The redevelopment of the Temple Club will ensure an even more vibrant and active business and residential district for residents and visitors of Old Town."

Schor says the building could be a major economic catapult for the area, which is why the city may offer financial incentives to the developers.

"There are eligible activities in terms of clean up and things that are reimbursed through an increase in property tax. We don't just write anybody a check and say here you go go build, " said Schor.

The plans could be reviewed at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting on October 14.

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