rss icon

Thursday, 16 July 2015 11:08

Lansing developer hopes for home run with The Outfield apartment project

Written by 
Rate this item
(5 votes)
Half of the 84 apartment units at The Outfield offer residents views of Cooley Law School Stadium, home to the Lansing Lugnuts baseball team. Gillespie Group, a Lansing-based developer and property management firm, hopes to offer tenants a Wrigley Field-type experience in the state capital with the $11 million project. Half of the 84 apartment units at The Outfield offer residents views of Cooley Law School Stadium, home to the Lansing Lugnuts baseball team. Gillespie Group, a Lansing-based developer and property management firm, hopes to offer tenants a Wrigley Field-type experience in the state capital with the $11 million project. COURTESY RENDERING

LANSING — A new apartment development in Michigan’s capital wants to replicate for tenants the experience of living near Chicago’s Wrigley Field, the home of the Cubs baseball team.

With 42 apartment units at Cooley Law School Stadium directly overlooking the diamond where the Lansing Lugnuts play, the Gillespie Group is banking on tenants wanting to live in an urban environment where they have the ability to watch a baseball game from the comfort of their apartments — even if they need to dodge the occasional well-hit ball.

“(Tenants’) windows will be struck by a baseball,” said President Pat Gillespie, noting that all units of The Outfield that face the ballpark will have shatterproof windows.

But the proximity to the game is part of the draw for tenants, he said.

“People we are talking to love the energy,” Gillespie said. “They love the sounds and smells of the ballpark. Everyone thinks of Wrigley, so that’s a cool factor and sort of our inspiration.”

For years, landlords of the apartment buildings surrounding Wrigley Field in Chicago’s North Side neighborhood have installed rooftop decks to allow residents and guests to watch the games. That’s an experience Gillespie hopes to provide for tenants in Lansing as well.

The apartments will consist of a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, along with four “micro-units.” The 380-square-foot apartments are meant to test the market in Lansing for the miniature housing model that has started gaining popularity in major cities such as Chicago and Seattle.

Just half of The Outfield’s 84 units will face the ballpark, but all residents will have access to a private bar that offers views of the games.

Rents in the approximately $11 million development will range from $850 to $1,600 per month, depending on the size of the unit and their views, Gillespie said.

The Lugnuts will be the first Minor League Baseball team in the country to have apartments directly connected to its stadium, Gillespie said. The developer told MiBiz he has received calls from other teams interested in similar projects, but he declined to name them, citing that negotiations were ongoing.

The apartments are just a part of a larger $25 million renovation project that includes new restaurants, party decks and executive suites at the stadium.

To help kickstart The Outfield project, the Gillespie Group turned to a novel form of partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC).

The state’s economic development agency became a silent partner by investing $2.5 million in equity in the project. Julius Edwards, the development finance manager at the MEDC, told MiBiz that while the organization does not typically take an ownership stake in the projects it finances, there are certain developments where it makes sense to do so.

Edwards pointed to a few projects in the Detroit area where the agency has also brought equity to the table, noting that the decision is determined on a case-by-case basis.

“Under equity, as the project grows, we can grow with it,” Edwards said. “As the project grows, it allows higher returns.”

Since the apartments remain under construction, Edwards was hesitant to project the return on the MEDC’s investment, but he said the group expects 2 percent to 3 percent. The MEDC provided funding for The Outfield through its Community Revitalization Program.

The project is one of seven other ongoing multifamily developments the Gillespie Group is working on in the immediate Lansing area.

Nearby, the development and property management firm also plans to revive the Lansing Brewing Company brand when it opens a new microbrewery at 518 East Shiawassee Street on Sept. 15.

Read 5347 times Last modified on Tuesday, 21 July 2015 09:53

Breaking News

September 2018
S M T W T F S
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 1 2 3 4 5 6

Follow MiBiz