Construction begins on $10.5 million Temple Building renovation


A $10.5 million project that will transform Old Town’s Temple Building into an apartment building  with commercial and office space on the first floor began this month, developer Michigan Community Capital said.

Renderings of a proposed overhaul to Old Town’s Temple Building. (Photo: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/CITY OF LANSING)

The Temple Building, at 502 E.César E.Chávez Avenue, had been empty for nearly a decade and was described as “functionally obsolete” before crews broke ground on the project.

More: Could Old Town’s Temple Building receive a $9 million overhaul?

More: Lansing City Council OKs $2M in tax incentives to redevelop Temple Club with retail, apartments

Michigan Community Capital plans to build 31 market-rate apartments along with 3,000 square feet of first-floor office space and 960 square feet of first-floor commercial space.

“Old Town is so excited to have Michigan Community Capital taking on this project,” Ben Dowd, president of the Old Town Commercial Association board, said in a release. “The investment into the neighborhood will be a tremendous support of an already outstanding area. We look forward to welcoming the businesses and new residents who will call this property home.”

Michigan Community Capital officials noted the strong housing market in one of Lansing’s trendier neighborhoods.

“We see the demand for housing to be really strong there,” said Marilyn Crowley, the company’s vice president of investments.

“This project will reuse the building for new housing options and commercial space, bridging Old Town and Northtown, creating an even more vibrant commercial and residential district,” Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said in a release.

The project was approved by the Lansing City Council late last year, following Michigan Community Capital’s purchase of property in Feb. 2019 for $500,000.

The project received $2 million in brownfield financing as well as a $250,000 loan approved by the Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

Other funding sources include a $3.8 million loan from Illinois Facility Fund and a $4.8 million equity investment from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Michigan Strategic Fund’s Community Revitalization Program. 

The building was constructed in the early 1900s and has served as multiple churches, a nightclub and a cooperative space for artists.

Renovations are expected to take more than a year with an opening targeted for 2022.

Additional information regarding the project can be found at

Contact business reporter Christian Martinez at [email protected] or (517) 267-1342. Follow him on Twitter at @ChristianM_CA.

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