LANSING, Mich. — Two hotels are under construction as part of the Red Cedar Development.
“We had a groundbreaking today for the Marriott, AC, and Hyatt House hotels that are the combination of the $250 million Red Cedar Development,” said Frank Kass, chairman of Continental Real Estate Companies.
Joel Ferguson, a real estate developer and partner in the project, says it's been years in the making.
“They all take time," Ferguson said. "You know, someone says, 'Hey, this project took eight years,' and I say, 'Well, if everything goes all right.' Eight years, they're gonna pass off seven, but then you wake up those eight years, and you made something happen.”
The $256 million Red Cedar Project began construction in April. Its student housing portion opened at the end of August and it will soon be home to a senior housing development, 40,000 square feet of retail space, a public park alongside the hotels
Though construction on the hotels began two months ago, developers and the community celebrated their groundbreaking on Thursday.
“With all the difficulty going through COVID," said President and CEO of Concord Hospitality Mark Laport. "It started later than we thought it would, but clearly we're off and running.”
The Hyatt House will have 139 suites with apartment style kitchens, a bar, fitness center and ground level indoor pool with a view of Michigan Avenue.
The AC Hotel by Marriott will have 156 guest rooms, an Italian restaurant, a lounge area and a fitness and indoor pool area.
Laport said the location along Michigan Avenue was the prime spot for these two hotels because of its proximity to Michigan State University and downtown Lansing.
“The proximity of where we are to the hospital, to downtown, to Michigan State. We have a number of hotels that are in Big Ten schools and all of them have been highly successful," Laport said. "I have been a small contributor to Michigan State University's hotel school over the years and got more and more excited as I spoke to folks at the university about the possibilities here.”
Laport said the pandemic has hit the hospitality industry hard.
“COVID has not been a friend to anybody that's in the hotel, business," Laport said. "It’s hard to imagine, but two years ago, we had to lay off almost 80 percent of all the folks that were with me in our company, because there just was no business.”
But slowly, it's getting back to where it was before the pandemic began. Which is why Kass said getting everyone together to celebrate was great.
“The entire project is underway and getting everybody here together to see its progress and to celebrate the hotel construction was just great,” Kass said.
Laport said the project even got started a little earlier than they were expecting.
“We're getting a good head start. We already feel like probably getting I'd shave 60 days off,” Laport said.
Laport said they had anticipated opening the hotels to be in August 2023, but now expect them to be finished sometime earlier that summer.
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