LANSING – Construction has started on apartments in the outfield of downtown Lansing’s minor league ballpark.
Crews this week will start framing The Outfield, an $11 million apartment project at Cooley Law School Stadium, Lansing developer Pat Gillespie said. The four-story building will have as many as 84 apartments when it’s finished by the start of the Lansing Lugnuts’ next season in April 2016.
Apartments will be built above a new fan concourse that should be open by June 1 in the outfield. They will include mostly one- and two-bedroom units. Six will be “micro units” of about 380 square feet.
“We didn’t know how far along the city would be at this point,” Gillespie said today. “They’re at a point where we’re able to get rolling and we’re able to do it without impacting baseball too much.”
The Outfield is part of a two-year project to modernize the downtown ballpark. Crews worked outdoors this past winter on a $13.5 million renovation of the city-owned stadium that updated scoreboards, seats, locker rooms, bathrooms, concessions areas and more.
The new concourse will feature a covered picnic area, a craft beer bar and a year-round banquet space that can be rented. It also will serve as the base of Gillespie’s new apartments.
Gillespie said he hopes his team can have the building framed by the first week in June and the exterior completed by fall. That would allow contractors to work inside the units during the winter.
Leasing hasn’t started, but he said his company, Gillespie Group, has a list of interested tenants who want to see floor plans or take a tour of a model unit once the building is completed.
Work will not interfere with the Lugnuts’ games, he said. Crews will be able to work during daytime hours on days when the Lugnuts have a home game at night.
The $11 million project is financed in part with a $2.5 million equity investment by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.. The state in turn will become part owner of Outfield Partners LLC, the entity created to build the apartments. Outfield Partners is made up of Gillespie’s company and Lugnuts owner Take Me Out to the Ballgame LLC.