(To read more on the multifamily market, click here.)

(Natalie Keith is a contributing writer to GlobeSt.com.)

LANSING, MI-A former wheel manufacturing plant is being transformed into a 120-unit, 170,000-sf loft apartment complex. The $12.8-million development, located at 707 Prudden St., is the city’s largest Downtown residential development in more than 40 years. It is expected to be completed this summer.

Locally based developer Harry Hepler, owner and president of H Inc., tells GlobeSt.com that he bought the former factory in 1998. It was built in 1916 but had sat vacant for 30 years prior to redevelopment efforts.

The three-story Motor Wheel Lofts building will contain 96 one-bedroom units that range in size from 580 sf to 1,680 sf and will rent for $540 to $1,680. There will be 21 two-bedroom units that range in size from 1,030 sf to 2,850 sf and will rent for $1,130 to $2,850. There will be three three-bedroom units that range in size from 1,510 sf to 1,570 sf and will rent for $1,490 to $1,570. Building amenities will include an underground heated parking garage, gym, access to a personal drive, use of the facility’s renewable-energy vehicle and a doorman.

The building was designed by Detroit-based architect Albert Kahn. Hepler is seeking certification under the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so federal and state historic guidelines were followed during renovation efforts.

The Motor Wheel Lofts project is in its third phase of development at the 20-acre site. The first phase of development included renovation of 40,000 sf, which is now occupied by the Lansing Police Department and an engineering and design firm, Capital Consultants/DesignWorks AE, which has been involved with the project. The second phase included redevelopment of 80,000 sf, 25,000 sf of which is now occupied by 250 employees of Lockheed Martin, says Hepler.

As part of the third phase of development, Hepler sold six acres to East Lansing-based developer Gillespie Group, which constructed 72 apartment units and plans to build another 48 condominium units at the site. The development has done much to improve the area, Hepler says.

“There’s a 20-acre park across the way from it that used to be covered with graffiti,” he says. “Now people feel safe and secure in that area,”

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