MSU to redevelop apartment complex
East Lansing — Michigan State University officials are considering ways to redevelop an apartment complex that’s seen dwindling use by visiting scholars and graduate students.
Consulting firms have crafted ideas for Spartan Village, including turning the 140-acre site into a retirement community, retail space, a hotel or multi-family spaces, the Lansing State Journal reported. University officials seek input from community stakeholders and looking to form public-private partnerships to complete the project.
Spartan Village had 1,500 apartment units at its peak use, but only 350 units are currently active and maintained.
“It could be up to 50 years in future when the whole thing is developed,” said Kat Cooper, communications director for the university’s residential and housing services department.
Officials haven’t pursued any redevelopment ideas with much depth, said East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows. He said the tax-exempt nature of the land is an issue.
“We would not receive tax funds that would help reduce the impact on East Lansing taxpayers for providing fire services for that area,” Meadows said. “There’s no question that additional services would be needed in order to serve what would be a large contingent of individuals living in housing areas in the southwest corner of the city of East Lansing.”
The university would need to find a place to house visiting scholars, graduate students and newly arrived faculty in order to fully shutter Spartan Village.
Some individuals are petitioning the university to create a fund to help graduate students in need find alternative, affordable housing near the campus.
Sapna Naik, a Ph.D. student at MSU, lived in Spartan Village this past school year after shortly living in another more expensive apartment complex.
Naik said, “It would be beneficial for the university to say there is an option for grad students to have more affordable housing.”