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Classrooms to apartments, Lansing's historic Holmes Street School almost move-in ready

Holmes Street School in Lansing
Posted at 9:50 AM, Sep 30, 2022

LANSING, Mich. — The Holmes Street School in Lansing was built 100 years ago. It's been vacant for almost two decades, but it will soon become a home to dozens.

Dymaxion Development picked up the 50,000-square-foot project about two years ago.

"We picked up the pieces from another failed project where there was an attempt to turn this school into some offices," Principal of Dymaxion Development Jeff Deehan said. "It was quite a difficult project stepping in kind of mid-demo from another project."

"The building had been stripped of copper," Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said. "It had been a mess, and when Jeff came to us and said, 'Hey, you know, I want to repurpose this,' we said, 'Absolutely! What can we do to help?'"

Deehan said he saw the potential of the school to be a "really nice place to live."

"There's tons of cool details in this building, like all the—we're reusing and refinishing all of the original terrazzo, which is a really cool, historic detail," Deehan said.

What were once classrooms and a gymnasium will soon be 47 apartments.

"Most of the apartments are one-bedrooms," Deehan said. "With a couple slightly larger loft-style units."

He said they will all have hard-surface countertops, three-quarter maple hard-flooring, which was repurposed from Ingham High's basketball court, a built-in washer and dryer and partially-exposed brick.

In the back of the building, there will be a rooftop patio and below that a dog park.

Deehan said rents will range from $800 to just over $1,000.

"Certainly we need more affordable housing," Schor said. "We need more workforce housing for those, you know, who have lower incomes, to be able to live here and work here, and this is a very affordable city."

Deehan said he has already put millions into the project, and expects to spend millions more before it's complete.

"But, we're getting close," Deehan said. "We're hoping occupancy here even in the next month or two for a portion of the building."

The management company is accepting applications now.

Deehan said the entire project should be wrapped up come spring.

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