517 Magazine Days of Giveaways

Big Changes in East Lansing

East Lansing has always been a popular venue for arts and culture. With the newly constructed contemporary Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum expected to open its doors to the pub…


Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum

Founding director of the Broad Museum and respected curator Michael Rush is truly excited about the upcoming opening. The contemporary and highly anticipated Broad Museum is sure to positively impact many contemporary art venues. There will also be an economic domino effect, expected to be set into motion by the artistically and environmentally inspirational $45 million public institution.

“The Broad Museum will be a real game changer,” Rush says. “The museum is a rare opportunity for the region that will impact the city and the university in a variety of ways that will elicit positive exposure within contemporary art, the community and education.”

With exhibits that will feature contemporary art from over 20 countries where the university has specific global interests, the museum will enable its students and visitors to more fully understand and question the connectivity of the modern world.  The university has a very strong and viable global reach that is reflected in its academics, creativity, ingenuity and contribution to worldwide advancement in ways that many do not see at first glance, Rush explains. “The museum’s exhibits, design and ideology of global connections will show how closely the university is connected to development, expansion, global advancement and its innovative role in this constantly evolving world.”

Designed by London-based award-winning architect Zaha Hadid, the iconic design will feature three levels totaling 46,000 square feet designed to conform to international standards including sustainable ecologically friendly features that will enable LEED certification.

“The museum itself is an amazing architectural structure that is one of its kind,” Rush points out. “But it is equally unique in what it will provide to public space, sustainable environments, and representation of the contemporary modern world.  It is a magnificent culmination of art and reality.”

The gallery, which is 70 percent dedicated to special exhibitions, permanent collections, and modern and contemporary displays to include new media, photography and works on paper, is expected to draw over 100,000 visitors from within the region and abroad its first  year. Related functional spaces will include an educational wing, works on paper study center, an outdoor plaza (featuring hybrid plants, trees and additional agricultural and genetic advancements from within the university), a visitor café, museum shop and multiple interior gathering spaces.

“The opening of this world-class museum will naturally benefit the campus and its surrounding cities in a plethora of ways,” Rush says. “Its presence will infuse the economy with tourism thereby creating a need for additional accommodations, upscale dining establishments, and unique shops that will cater to discerning tastes which will ultimately positively affect the growth of small business.”

City Center II

Although still awaiting final approval for the City Center II project designed by Strathmore Development Company, a nationally recognized development firm with local roots, demolition has begun on the 5.5-acre site where the intended multi-functional urban infill project is to be located. At the corner of Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road, the proposed 10-story mixed-use building is expected to provide residential living options, upscale retail boutiques, a performing arts venue to complement the widely successful Wharton Center, and employment opportunities.

“The proposed City Center II, with its proximity to the MSU campus, will not only support the Broad Museum with its proposed Hotel Indigo and many restaurant options, but it will also support many other cultural, sports and entertainment venues slated for the area,” Strathmore Development Company President Scott Chappelle says. “It will also provide legitimate urban housing options for professionals and select residents.”

While the city is still reviewing the financial and tax-related logistics of the proposal, due diligence is a priority for both the City of East Lansing and Strathmore Development Company.

“This is an excellent economic opportunity for the area,” City of East Lansing Planning and Community Development Director Tim Dempsey begins. “The project will potentially create several hundred jobs within the next 23 to 30 months during its construction, and then easily make available an additional 300 jobs to support the needs of this new business district.”

With the understanding of the advantages of being located six blocks down the street from the Broad Museum, both Chappelle and Dempsey easily agree that the redevelopment of the environmentally contaminated site is a definite plus for the city and the campus.

“This City Center II project is a huge undertaking that will essentially provide major retail and amenities support to the museum,” Dempsey says.  “And it is one that the city supports in alignment with growth, revenue and aesthetic improvement of that particular city corridor.This is a transformative project that will create sustainability, economic improvement and broader demographics that will positively affect this community.”

As further support for the $105 million proposal, both Chappelle and Dempsey recognize that many of today’s economic and environmental issues influence the new urban dweller who typically supports green redevelopment projects, best practice principles and Main Street projects that make possible safe and comfortable city living options that result in the need for improved infrastructures that begin with critical urban infill projects that utilize many of the existing resources, public spaces and natural environments.

“Most of the work we perform are redevelopment projects,” Chappelle explains.

Demolition continues on the proposed site. The City of East Lansing is set to conclude its due-diligence findings by June 26, 2012 and provide the final nod or no on the proposed project.

Author: Trenna Nees.
Photography: Terri Shaver.


Michigan State University Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum Michael Rush, Director

556 East Circle Dr., Rm. #344

East Lansing



Strathmore Development Company

Scott A. Chappelle, President

1427 W. Saginaw, Ste. 150

East Lansing



City of East Lansing

Tim Dempsey, Planning and Development Director

East Lansing City Hall

410 Abbot Road

East Lansing





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