City Council approved on Mar. 23, an application from FP Investors to change the planned use of vacant lots in the center of the Falcon Pointe development, following East Lansing’s Planning Commission unanimous recommendation of the proposal on Feb. 10.
The lots had originally been designated for manufactured homes but will now hold four ranch-style buildings, each containing three rental units, for a total of 12 new housing units.
The Falcon Pointe project is on the far north side of the City of East Lansing, southwest of the intersection of State and Chandler Roads, near the Hawk Nest neighborhood and in Clinton County.
Each unit in the newly-approved development segment will have two bedrooms, and the units will be for rent.
According to material submitted with the application, the rentals units “are marketed toward the empty nester generation. This is not an age restricted but rather an age targeted development with the individual units renting [from] $1,500 to $2,000 per month.”
The approval from Council came with almost no discussion, and no one came forward from the public to speak for or against the idea.
The only comment on the matter at Council came from Mayor Aaron Stephens, who said, “I think this type of housing is good. It offers a different type within the city and definitely housing diversity is something we want within the city.”
The Falcon Pointe development was originally designed to become home to 280 manufactured housing units, but the idea did not find much interest in the market.
In 2015, several of the homeowners who had settled into the troubled project came to City Council to plea for help because they had essentially been abandoned by the original developer, left with what amounted to a blighted area and a great deal of uncertainty for their manufactured homes. Council was very sympathetic but was extremely limited it what it could do legally to help the homeowners.
By 2016, a new developer had taken over, and with Council’s permission, the development plan was changed to call for 253 units total, including: 120 2-bedroom, attached, ranch rental units on the east; 102 single-family, 3-bedroom units on the west; and 31 lots for manufactured housing in the center, “for the existing manufactured housing residents that were on site” already.
Now the project will see more of the ranch-style attached rental units built near the existing manufactured homes.