Tuesday, August 9, 2016

SkyVue Apartment Building in Lansing, Michigan

Urban planner, have camera, will travel. And when I do see things like this to share.
This is the SkyVue Apartment building that is being built on a long-time former car dealership property near Michigan State University. According to this article it will have 338 apartments. A majority of them (144) will be one-bedroom units that will cater to singles, retirees and empty-nesters, but the predominant market will be university students. Their website stresses proximity to bus transportation routes that will offer bike storage within the building. However, it also has a large parking garage that takes up about all of the northwest corner of the building. There is also to be a small amount of retail space of 4,000 square feet planned for the first floor.

You can also check out construction progress and select different dates showing construction over time. You can even compare different days side by side by clicking here.

The project sits immediately south of the Frandor shopping center that was built in the mid-1950s. Here is an aerial view of the area that shows the extent of surface parking around the center which was typical during that period.
The SkyVue project will take up the lower right corner (SE) of this picture. A Sears store is to the west.
What struck me was the combination of all the structured parking built into this new project, without any integration to the existing shopping center that surround, along with its acres of automobile parking. Michigan is still building as if cars will be the dominant form of transportation from now and long into the future.

Here are some more pictures I took while walking around the area. The problem is the abundance of parking and the message that it sends. The property is within a reasonable walking distance to the university campus.
A massive parking garage. . .
. . . and acres of existing, unused surface parking lots nearby.
More surface parking.
Eastern and northern elevations.