Red Cedar Development


The Red Cedar development is a 276 million dollar investment that will take place where the Red Cedar golf course currently stands. The project will include a hotel, student apartments also available to young professionals that will be near a soon to be medical facility and multiple commercial and retail spaces. To avoid infrastructure problems 50 million dollars will be put toward drainage problems that will not only help make this project possible but also improve surrounding areas. Construction on this project will begin in spring of 2016.

More Information about the Project

Improvement Ideas


    Modernist design paired with ecological consciousness   


    Author:     Benjamin Roth   


    Principle:     Connection with Nature, Inclusive Placemaking   



The Red Cedar Development is located on a plot of land that is currently undeveloped. While it encompasses an old golf course, nature has reclaimed it to a great degree. This makes for an intriguing set of circumstances, especially when compared to the three other local developments. We should seek to expound this when considering development proposals.
The location of the Red Cedar development area is an excellent mid-point between Lansing and Downtown East Lansing, meaning that some form of commerce would bode well for the area. Because of this, we must consider the land to be something more than just potentially refined green space. It should not, however, be paved over and transformed into another impersonal shopping center, but rather evolved into a combination of existing environment, curated environment, and inoffensive structures.

This land would be an ideal location for a blend of a refined natural space with modernist mixed-use structures. Given the Lansing area’s embrace of modernist design in its newest developments, a well-executed space between Lansing and East Lansing could tie the incongruous new buildings together and provide a purpose and theme for the progress of the area. This modernist design can be lifeless, as is the case with SkyVue, or jarring, as is the case with various mixed-use buildings in the area; this development seeks to remedy that by tying them into one vision, properly executed through a well-designed space combining nature, commerce, and all of their ensuing attributes.


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    Trail along the Red Cedar River   


    Author:     Brendan Carney   


    Principle:     Connection with Nature   



One unique feature of MSU’s campus is the Red Cedar River that splits the campus in two. The river separates the old campus from the newer campus and provides students with a scenic walkway through campus. This highly accessible trail allows students to relax after class and watch and listen to the river. The benches along the trail provide walkers the chance to rest and relax, while the decks allow the walker the chance to be on top of the water to watch and listen to it flow. This unique tranquility gives students’ peace of mind during the everyday stress that comes with being a student.

The Red Cedar Development would benefit tremendously if they provided their residents and guests with a walking trail along the river. The trail would connect residents to campus and allow for fewer cars to be parked on campus. This would also give students who live on campus the chance to extent their walks or runs and give them to access the stores that will be built in the development. The trail would only minimally change the bank of the river as some space would be needed to add the paved walkway. This trail would give people a safe and healthy means of getting to campus and would provide users with a connection to the environment that MSU is known for.




    Bike Share   


    Author:     Molly Keasey   


    Principle:     Sustainability   



Cities across the country such as New York, Chicago, and Boston have all implemented a bike share system. The system allows for inexpensive multimodal transportation while promoting sustainability in order to grow towards a smarter city. In order for East Lansing to follow suit and grow towards a good, smart city, sustainability is a great place to start. With scarce parking and a large campus, biking is an innovative option. Allowing bikers the opportunity to participate in a bike share would not only allow for sustainability but also a community program that acknowledges the stride towards advancement. It also promotes livability, giving multiple options to citizens of all fiscal backgrounds a mode of transportation.


Philly indego bikeshare


    Neighbors not Strangers   


    Author:     Molly Keasey   


    Principle:     Connectivity   



What constitutes the perfect city? As most people recognize, it is hard to hone in on one specific city. College campuses are great examples of cities that often times need gentrification. One improvement idea to solve this problem among campuses is through connectivity. At such large campuses, like Michigan State University, it is easy to get lost among the crowd. Hard to connect with the surrounding community and put names to faces rather than seemingly passing just another stranger on the street. The Red Cedar Development is a great way to create connections. Through a new common space, Red Cedar Development will create a new sense of community; a place of comfort. Familiar faces, instead of a crowd of strangers. The development shrinks the large campus into a niche for shoppers, patients and leasers, giving them all a commonality and place to connect. Connectivity is key for cities, especially college campuses that lack the ability to narrow down such a large population.

As other communities have done, one way to connect neighbors is through an email group. Upon signing a lease, if each resident were to sign up for the email group, it would open a realm of possibility. Someone to watch your dog, knowledge of a community gathering, advice for classes, etc., all become opportunities with a simple email. Names become faces and neighbors turn into friends.


Neighbors meeting 550


    River Park   


    Author:     Brendan Carney   


    Principle:     Creativity   



The Red Cedar River is an important part of the MSU campus and East Lansing community. It is a geographic feature that attracts many people by its grace, beauty and power. One way to utilize the unique characteristics of the river is to build a simplistic park on its banks, similar to the Spruce Street Harbor Park in Philadelphia. Here, visitors can play board games, lie in hammocks, or socialize by the food trucks under the colorful lights that hang in large oak trees. There are water fountains with permanent built-in seating, picnic tables, and a dock where people can sit in cargo nets suspended above the water. Small food vendors and local breweries set up small counters where visitors can grab a bite to eat or taste the local beer. The park is completely free and attracts hundreds of visitors every night during the summer months. Visitors often forget they are in a large city and imagine they are in a coastal region. The red cedar development will have the ability to provide a similar experience to the citizens of East Lansing and MSU students. With minimal walkways, simple lighting, and permanent seating, East Lansing can mimic the success of the Spruce Street Harbor Park and create a bond between nature and community.


River park


    Development Bringing People Together   


    Author:     Gejsi Rada   


    Principle:     Connectivity   



The Red Cedar Golf Course is a site that has been left abandoned and unused for many years, and with the proposal of this development, it gives the area a chance to reignite itself and further connect it with the community of East Lansing, along with the students of Michigan State. What comes with this development is not only a chance for an area of the city to be improved, rather a chance for a new connection to emerge. With the details of the project including new developments such as a hotel, a medical center, and commercial real estate properties, it further supports the city of East Lansing's plans for the future to identify itself as more than just a college town, and in route to achieving this plan by allowing development of projects that bring new people into the city, and bring people together overall. In the grand scheme, the concept is so simple, in the sense that the types of buildings proposed for the project are ones that employ multitudes of people, and bring people in through retail and commerce. However, for a city like East Lansing, that has seen a fair share of multi use buildings go unused and eventually dilapidated, one can understand their cautious attitudes in the past for not allowing such projects to develop. This development can be seen as a win for those who will enjoy the beauty of the Red Cedar highlighted with the usefulness of new business developments to complement it.


Red cedar river


    Building a Marketplace builds a Community   


    Author:     Kate Den Houter   


    Principle:     Placemaking and Community Engagement   



The Red Cedar Renaissance project is a close to $300 million development project that is proposed to be built on the now closed Red Cedar Golf Course. While building is currently postponed as they find more funding, and design a plan to effectively build on the flood plains of the Red Cedar River. The project is boasted to be a mixed-use development, bringing in two hotels, 129 townhomes, five restaurants, a medical office building, and student housing that is said will accommodate 1,200 people. If built, the project will be the largest Greater Lansing development in recent history. While developers and several city officials say that the project will do amazing things for Lansing, there are several additions that could be made to the plans to not only make the development better, but to strengthen the development’s ties with the local community.

One specific way that the Red Cedar Development could create stronger ties with the surrounding community is to build a community marketplace, where local venders, crafters, and farmers could set up shop. Not only does this promote a mindset of “buy local, eat local, stay local”, this can also help to stimulate the local economy by supporting small businesses and also provides the community with a common meeting place that everyone is able to enjoy. Building a place for local residents to enjoy will strengthen the bonds between the community and the new development as it will show locals that the aim of the development is not only to bring new residents to the area, but also to become a part of the community by promoting community interests.


Improvement 5


    Solving the Drainage Problem   


    Author:     Kendra Hungerford   


    Principle:     Ecology and Sustainability of a City   



The Red Cedar watershed stretches 472 square miles from Fowlerville to East Lansing, a third of which is urban and the majority being agricultural. Because the Red Cedar watershed contains runoff from these urban and agricultural areas, the watershed is extremely susceptible to pollution and its negative effects. Agriculturally, the negative effects may come from manure, fertilizers and pesticides, and large amounts of sedimentation. Due to new urban development, excessive amounts of polluted runoff from sidewalks and pavement get dumped into the Red Cedar River. All of these types of pollution can kill plants and animals that inhabit the river, as well as pollute our clean drinking water. The Red Cedar watershed is home to not only thousands of species of plants and animals, but thousands of residents who live, learn, work, and recreate here as well. The City of Lansing recognized that this high percentage of pollution in the Red Cedar watershed is a huge problem, so what is their solution?

The City of Lansing summoned the help of Ferguson/Continental Lansing, LLC to help solve their problem. Ferguson/Continental, LLC are the developers in charge of the Red Cedar development. Included in their development plans is a new watershed management plan. Ferguson/Continental plans to use the water from the Red Cedar watershed to enhance their developments by making water a main site feature. It is their goal, through new design plans, to protect and improve water quality while also creating a natural landscape that provides aesthetic relief in urban developments. This will not only solve the draining issues within the Red Cedar watershed, but it will also help to purify the resident’s drinking water, and add an aesthetic attraction to be enjoyed by residents and community members.


Drainage problem


    Band Shell   


    Author:     Michel Metzner     


    Principle:     Culture and Connectivity   



From 1938 to 1960 MSU had a band shell where Bessey hall currently stands. This band shell was a place where concerts happened, a place where graduation ceremonies happened. It was a place people could go and hang out. It was a place people could gather and connect with the MSU community. Now it is gone. This wonderful creative space is gone. A place to gather and hold events, a place where you could go to feel part of something bigger than yourself. I want this place back and would love another band shell to be built on the Red Cedar development plot. A structure like this could really bring some excitement to a area and give it life. It's a shame we ever tore down the band shell but we can build a new one.

The band shell built in 1938 cost $25,000, today that would cost approximately $420,000. With a planned budget of $276,000,000 building this band shell would cost less than 1% of the budget. Looking at the plans I’m excited to see where the Red Cedar development goes. It seems like it’s going to be well connected with nature, and a place for students and professionals alike. I would insert my band shell In the park area where there is plenty of open space for people to gather. I can imagine local band coming to play here, big concerts, even political protests. This band shell would be a fairly cheap project that would add enormous community value.




    Creating a Walkable Space   


    Author:     Suzanna Smentowski   


    Principle:     Placemaking: Making Places for People   



Often times, as a city grows and develops, old places may become abandon or left unkempt. This is exactly what happened with the Red Cedar Golf Course. For years this place has sat empty. The new plans for creating the Red Cedar Development (also called the Red Cedar Renaissance) is set to give life back to this empty space. However, while the idea to build up this space will change the use of the land, it will also eliminate the way that the land is used currently that may not be taken into account by developers. This site is a place that dog owners love to utilize. The rugged terrain and open spaces are perfect for these pet owners to incorporate into their daily walk. With the plan to redevelop this land, the buildup of housing and retail services will eliminate parts of the municipal park on the location that is used by these dog walkers.

To solve this problem, this space can appeal to the people of the city better by creating a network of paths and trails through the developed land that would allow dog walkers to still use the space to take their pets for walks. By incorporating these paths into the design plans, not only will this developed space become one that appeals to the needs of the people (or in this case, their dogs), but it will also create a space the keeps a connection with natural through more scenic, quiet trails in the middle of a more developed space.


Man and dog


    The Seasonal Park   


    Author:     Suzanna Smentowski   


    Principle:     Climate and Location   



The development plan for the Red Cedar Golf Course land is relatively finalized, however, this space could see more traffic and people interested in the apartments and housing in the area if the land is used in a way that attracts people to it. As of now, the land near this future development space is home to a small park containing nothing more than a baseball field. While this field does get put to regular use by the city, more could be done to this space because there is the land for it. This space could benefit the public more by becoming a space that changes depending on the season. Permanently, a pavilion or shelter area could be built for small concerts and picnics when the weather is nice. In the winter, the grounds near the pavilion could be used as an ice skating rink that locals can enjoy in the cool weather. By creating a space that is dual purpose, both in warm weather and cold weather, it takes advantage of the constantly changing weather here in Michigan. East Lansing tried to create an outdoor skating rink before, but the location of the rink did not have enough parking for the space to be a success. As for this location, this park already has a good sized parking lot – meaning it could handle more people visiting.


El ice rink


    Sillicon Valley   


    Author:     Makenzie Brown   


    Principle:     Smart Growth/ Economic Impact of Businesses   



We are all aware of Silicon Valley in San Francisco, California. It is home to many global, iconic business companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple. It is the site of technology focused institutions, specifically Stanford University. As MSU’s Business School continues to climb in rankings (currently 25th in nation and 10th among public schools) the creation of our own miniature Silicon Valley where the Red Cedar Development is planned would be an amazing business opportunity and chance to generate capital for Lansing. Not only that, but an opportunity for graduates/ students predominantly to find work straight off the bat.

The idea would be to house local businesses predominantly but also attempt to pull in as many major cooperation’s as possible. This would be a hub for surrounding top institutions like University of Michigan, The Ohio State University, and many more among the East coast. In regards to a good city principle this project would fall under, smart growth and economic impact of small (and large) businesses, fit well. I believe putting young talent and brains at the forefront of our society is a crucial factor for growth in all regards.


Silicon valley map


    Community Space through use of Old Buildings   


    Author:     Marilyn Hecht   


    Principle:     Infill Development and Smart Growth Innovation   



The Red Cedar Renaissance development project does utilize the large amount of green space in that area for the construction of this development. Water will play a large role in bringing the community together, but with some of the land already occupied by abandoned buildings, it would beneficial to use these buildings to create a community space. Instead of using new materials, reusing the buildings and materials keeps a sense of the community’s culture within the site while making costs for the project possibly less expensive. This culture closes the gap in the community between the new and the old. Community closeness will help make this space active and participatory with the people.


Reuse old building


    Community Art Garden   


    Author:     Marilyn Hecht   


    Principle:     Creativity   



While the Red Cedar Renaissance Development strives to bring people together to create a strong community, there is some room for improvement on the development project. One principle that can be added is the creative aspect. With such a variety of green space, they could add a small children’s garden/park area to include families in the area. This garden will include weather-permitting structures created by local artists that are climbable and interactive with people. This then incorporates and employs the local community while allowing children and families to learn more about art in an interactive environment. This will also help close the community divide between families and students. If the structures are large enough, they can help be a center for events hosted by the students and they can be used by the students as well. Overall, this will add a sense of creativity in design to the development while acting as a community space.


Climbable art


    Don't Take Away the Green Grass   


    Author:     Vanessa Velazquez   


    Principle:     Nature is Key   



The Red Cedar Development plans to build a housing development on the former gulf course with a set portion aside to make this infrastructure does not damage the Red Cedar. The landscape of the land will be disrupted and it is the developers responsibility to make sure that they are conscious of how they put nature into the development. This development should install roof top gardens and plant trees to give a new look as to what a "great urban design" looks like. the Human connection to nature is very important for our physical and mental health. Typical Urban Cities lack this connection, therefore, when developing on a green space, instead of taking it away this connection to nature should be built up on in this development. Creating a this development with a relation to nature can be a vital step towards engaging the community in protecting nature, such as the Red Cedar but also their ecological footprint.


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    Making Friends Through Natural Connections   


    Author:     Hunter Kulka   


    Principle:     Connection to Nature   



The Red Cedar Development is planned to go on a piece of land that currently has a great connection to nature. When a building or new complex is being developed, it is easy to lose a connection to nature and forget about the benefits that nature can bring. Studies have shown that having a connection to nature can greatly improve people’s moods and overall happiness. Nature also has a way of connecting people to each other and bringing groups of people together.

It is important for this development to not lose the connection to nature. East Lansing/ Lansing don’t have a lot of areas that are well developed but still have a great and large connection to nature. The Red Cedar Development should include an art park that would allow people to walk around and see art while connecting to nature. With the location of the development being situated between East Lansing and Lansing it could bring together two larger communities and benefit both significantly. One example of a very successful art park is the Fredrick Meijer Gardens and sculpture park in Grand Rapids, people travel from all over the state to go see it. Having something like that in East Lansing would be a great benefit to the city.


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    Parking? What’s that?   


    Author:     Hunter Kulka   


    Principle:     Adaptability   



Looking to the future is a very important thing to do when building a development like the Red Cedar Development. The world is constantly changing and as we move through time that change is growing exponentially. One of the industries that is going to have the largest change is the automotive industry. We are at the tipping point for the shift from human operated gas cars to autonomous electric cars. It is estimated that by 2030 private car ownership will drop by 80%, and that the number of cars on the road will drop from 247 million to 44 million. This large shift in the way people use and own automobiles presents the problem of having lots of wasted space from the parking lots that we have.

The Red Cedar Development should carefully look at this trend and come up with a plan to reduce the amount of wasted real estate that they have. Adaptability here is key and there are lots of ways in which you can prepare for this shift. One way to eliminate this wasted space is to turn it into an event area, having a place to hold concerts or a farmer’s market would be an excellent use of this space. Some companies plan on turning parking garages into apartments or retail space when this shift occurs. The new purpose of the parking areas has the ability to be a multitude of things, which allows us to be creative, but the important thing is that they are adaptable. Companies have always had to look towards the future when designing buildings, but it is more crucial now more than ever.




    Inclusive City Planning for People with Disabilities   


    Author:     Kelsey Storemski   


    Principle:     Inclusivity   



The Red Cedar Development is a well-designed plan that has a variety of important aspects such as mixed use buildings, connection with nature, adaptability, economic development, public accessibility. The design is very modern and covers a diverse variety of demographics, which should make it relatively affordable. I especially like that the new development will have a close relationship with new medical facilities which will create jobs, help the community, improve the overall economy. This new development is a great opportunity for the city to implement new technologies that will help improve the way people with disabilities can interact with the city. Persons with disabilities include those who are blind, deaf, or physically impaired. Smart cities implement various initiatives to help people with disabilities, such as guided city tours, better infrastructure and safety standards, sensory gardens, and greater city services such as wheelchair accessible public transportation and community centers that host classes specifically for people with certain disabilities. These cities are also using smart devices and software that help people interact with objects and services within the city.

These smart city initiatives will help raise awareness for persons with disabilities, improve the overall safety and satisfaction within the community, and make the city more inclusive and accessible for people who need special accommodations. In Toronto, the StopGap Foundation has taken part in a community ramp project in order to make businesses more accessible for locals who are less mobile. This includes changes such as brightly painted ramps that can be easily seen. Another example of these Smart City initiatives is in Sydney, Australia. Sydney is currently making a network of braille street signs that will be paired with information pylons and digital technology for people who are blind or visually impaired.




    Reconnection with the Mother Nature   


    Author:     Colin Liang   


    Principle:     A harmony setting between the nature and the community   



Red Cider project has its unique setting compared to other projects. The location is surrounded by resourceful nature green and they could be utilized to better incorporate into the neighborhood; the idea is to reconnect the nature with the residents in the community. “Green Coverage” has always been an important topic for neighborhood structuring, but neighborhoods have rarely achieved the true form of connecting with nature. The Red Cider project is significant as it aims to remodel the existing drain:
Montgomery Drain to reduce the pollution and it is intended to improve the public infrastructure of the site, and the improvement of $50 million is funded by the city. The project also includes $200 million dollars stake from private equity funds for the building of different types of facilities. This project is ideal to form its unique atmosphere and I deem the project to be better applying the idea I promote. Essentially, the idea is to extend the coverage of nature into the neighborhood; it presents an infusion image of the concrete building with the green plants; the distinct two would reach an equilibrium that enriches the acknowledgment of the green in the neighborhood.

Being green and embracing the nature seem to be a trendy thing to for the young generation; the Red Cider project is targeted for the students and young working professionals from the city. With the extension of green into the neighborhood, the young would recognize the Red Cider be a place to socialize and enjoy time with nature. Cites are concrete occupied filled with noise and pollution, neighborhoods are urged to seek for the nature to breathe out; the Red Cider offers an opportunity to examine the possibility of nature and human living peacefully yet being financially feasible and attractive to the city inhabitants.


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    Athletic City   


    Author:     Colin Liang   


    Principle:     A sport center within the community   



East Lansing demands more sports facilities, a central, concentrated sports center. The sports facility on the campus of MSU lays limitations for the public, they are set up exclusively for the students. East Lansing is a fairly young city, the young are desire to stay active, an affordable facility that delivers different sports could be socially and financially attainable. The sports center features an indoor golf range, tennis courts, a swimming pool, an indoor artificial grass turf soccer field, basketball courts, and a baseball batting range. It also includes a gym with weight lifting and yoga facilities, some selective food vendors would also be brought in, the sports center is more so an athletic community rather than a corporate, money-driven sports facility. All age ranges are welcome and occasional free lessons would be offered to connect people. Dietitians and food scientists would hold free speeches to promote better health consciousness within the community; additionally, locally owned and operated vendors would have booths to sell fresh produces that are directly from the local farms.

The sports center is intended to promote a healthy lifestyle within the community and ultimately, the city. The developer(s) could cooperate with the city of Lansing to utilize some of the incentives; the city could pay for part of the pre-planning phase construction to reduce the initial investment cost to generate a better return for the investors; also, tax incentive could be applied in the case to make the investment more financially desirable.


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