Affordable artist housing project begins market survey for East Lansing campus

Artspace, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit arts organization that creates affordable living spaces for artists and their businesses, is looking to bring a campus to East Lansing.

In its second of six development steps, the project is beginning its art markets study to gauge the demand for arts and creative spaces in the area as well as site selection and design ideas.

According to East Lansing’s Artspace Feasibility Report, the six-month study will include three phases: survey preparation, data collection and analysis and reporting.

At a East Lansing Downtown Development Authority, DDA, meeting Thursday the committee discussed the possibility of an additional $10,000 allocated to Artspace’s market survey.

The study’s anticipated cost was $35,000, which was approved by the East Lansing City Council on Nov. 15.

If approved, the additional funding will come from the contract services budget line in the FY23 Downtown Development budget.

Funded by East Lansing City Council, the DDA and the city’s Arts Commission, the preliminary feasibility study was completed in January. It began in early 2021 and cost $30,000.

the next steps of the project include three predevelopment stages lasting an estimated 19 to 25 months or more; then a six to 10 month construction timeframe.

Determining the location of the project will be determined by the third step.

Valley Court Park, Evergreen Properties, the Bailey Lot, City Hall, Hannah Community Center and the Division Street Garage have been tagged as possible locations for the project.

Artspace opened a campus in Dearborn in 2015 in their previous city hall. The site has 52 units and cost a total of $16.5 million.

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