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THURSDAY, OCT. 9 — Lansing is poised to approve yet another “brownfield” redevelopment plan, this time for a $9 million renovation of the historic Bethlehem Temple Building in Old Town.
Michigan Community Capital purchased the building in February and plans to add retail and office space to the first floor, along with 31 residential apartments on the upper floors for the “Temple Lofts.” The Lansing nonprofit investment group will also construct a two-story parking garage next to the 1906 building at 502 E. Cesar Chavez Ave. Work should begin in the spring and take about 18 months.
“Lansing’s time is now, and 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, Northtown and all of north Lansing,” Mayor Andy Schor said today, praising the project.
Last Friday, the Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority approved the brownfield plan, which allows the developers to be reimbursed for their renovation costs through by deferring property taxes that would otherwise be paid on the increased value of the property. The plan will need to be approved by the City Council, which will first discuss the project at its meeting on Monday.
Constructed as a church in 1906, the Bethlehem Temple Building is more recently remembered as the Temple Club, an entertainment club that operated from 2001 to 2006 and featured such high-profile acts as Wu-Tang Clan and Patton Oswalt. Since that time, the building has been used infrequently for music and film festivals.
“The Temple building is an important and iconic building in Old Town and has a ton of potential, but it’s too big for a small developer and too small for a big developer,” Eric Hanna, president and CEO of Michigan Community Capital, told City Pulse in February after his organization purchased the building for $500,000.
“It needed an organization with our size and strengths to make it work.”