Creativity keys deal to bring new student housing to Michigan State Univrsity students

Michigan State University students will soon have new housing options from which to choose.

Creativity is often the key to closing a successful real estate deal. That’s the case in East Lansing, Mich., where a 32-year-old printing company will soon receive a new state-of-the-art home while also making room for new housing for students at nearby Michigan State University.

Thomas Jamieson, an associate and office advisor with CBRE|Martin, recently negotiated the sale of 514 Michigan Avenue in East Lansing. Wolf River Development Company purchased the building.

Koehler’s Printing and Graphics had occupied the building for more than 32 years. Construction crews, though, will soon raze the outdated facility and replace it with a four-story, 23,200-square-foot mixed-use development. The development will include 16 four-bedroom student apartments and 1,200 square feet of ground-floor commercial space that will serve as the new home of Koehler’s.

Dale Inman, managing partner with Wolf River Development Company, said that construction on the mixed-use project will wrap up by August. This is good timing; the student apartments will be ready to welcome Michigan State students for the start of the 2013-2014 academic year.

The news is good for Koehler’s, too. The printing company will remain in business during the construction of its new building thanks to a temporary location in Lansing, Mich.

This might not rank as the largest commercial real estate project in Michigan these days. But it is one that shows just how creative developers, clients and brokers can be. Turning an aging printing-company building into attractive student housing is a positive step for East Lansing. And it’s just one more example of the positive difference that commercial real estate professionals can have on a community.

– Dan Rafter

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