Ask ELi: What’s happening at that spot in East Lansing?

Print More

Rendering by Studio Intrigue Architects of the sorority being constructed at the northeast corner of Burcham Drive and Grove Street.

We’ve had lots of questions in the mailbag lately about specific places in East Lansing, and today’s “Ask ELi to Investigate” column answers four place-related questions.

What’s going on at Burcham Drive and Grove Street?

A reader noticed houses gone and a big hole dug. In November of 2019, City Council unanimously approved an application from GTW Investment Properties to build a new sorority house at the northeast corner of this intersection. The image above shows the rendering of the building (without showing its actual setting).

For this project, the developers have demolished a one-story house with a garage at the corner (710 Grove Street) and a duplex just north of there (722 and 722½ Grove Street). You can read more details and see the plans here.

Is something finally happening at the site of the old Tasty Treat and gas station just west of Brookfield Plaza?

This site has been derelict for years, with a boarded-up ice cream parlor and gas station, and now those have both been removed with the site paved over. According to owner/developer Joe Goodsir, “No plans [for the property] at this point, we just wanted to get rid of the eye sore” on Grand River Ave.

The site as it looked before demolition of the structures in a photo by Raymond Holt for ELi.

In 2016, Goodsir’s team had proposed a project known as “White Oak Place” featuring an apartment building. The developers changed the White Oak Place plans repeatedly to try to get to “yes” when it came to City Council, but at the last step, the Council voted to change the design of the building and chop down the Brownfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plan that had been proposed.

Those moves by Council killed the project – also killing plans for environmental clean-up of the gas station that was set to be done as part of the project.

Is that it on the landscaping at the utility project across from the new Marble Elementary School?

A reader wrote in referring to our prior Ask ELi on the Consumers Energy project at the northeast corner of Burcham Drive and Hagadorn Road, near MacDonald Middle School. Shortly after that project had started, in response to questions from ELi, Terry DeDoes, Senior Public Information Director for Consumers Energy, told us by email, “There will be landscaping and a black fence around the station; the site should be more attractive than before the work began.”

Raymond Holt for ELi

Consumers Energy’s natural gas pipeline station at the northeast corner of Burcham Drive and Hagadorn Road, shown when it was under renovation.

About what’s resulted now, our reader opined, “I’m not sure the 6 or 7 arborvitaes would constitute extensive landscaping. It looks horrible! Can someone follow up on that article and ask what happened to the landscaping?”

We checked back with DeDoes about this and got the reply that, other than replacing anything that has died since planting, we should not expect more landscaping. DeDoes said, “Some of the vegetation planted along the new fence had noticeably turned brown, and we are committed to replacing those plants in the spring.” He also said, “We are adhering to the approved site plan, which specified the amount of vegetation.”

What’s going on with the lot where Biggby Coffee used to be?

ELi’s Andrew Graham reported back in October that the building was being demolished in order to turn the entire lot into parking. In December, ELi’s Sarah Spohn reported that a local resident had harvested the building’s stone for reuse.

Alice Dreger for ELi

Photo taken in 2018 when the original Biggby location was still open. Biggby is now in the building shown in the background, “300 Grand” (300 W. Grand River Ave.).

This week, developer/landlord DTN came to Planning Commission seeking approval for a new site plan to turn the whole lot into a private-pay, gated parking lot. The spots would be used by residents of 300 W Grand River Ave. (the apartment building just west of the lot, across Delta Street), by users of the new Biggby at 300 W. Grand River Ave., and maybe also by Crunchy’s employees or customers.

Planning Commission has not yet made a decision on that project.

Have a question you’d like to Ask ELi to Investigate? Contact us! Love our community news service? Donate today to keep it coming:

Comments are closed.