Upcoming apartments in former Lake Trust building in downtown Lansing

From the kitchen of a new apartment in the former Lake Trust Building, a wall of windows offers dazzling views of downtown Lansing that developers hope will woo potential residents and bring new life to the town.

The sixth-floor two-bedroom apartment at 501 S. Capitol Ave. is one of 172 units that will be available for rent at the new City View Apartment Complex this autumn. The old Lake Trust building is being renovated and will house 55 apartments. Its new sister building at 503 S. Capitol Ave. will include 117 units.

“The room heights are spectacular and the views are incredible,” said Patrick Smith, CEO of WestPac, the California-based developer overseeing the site. “Being able to take advantage of that is really cool.”

The view of the new building being constructed as part of City View Apartments photographed from the former Lake Trust Credit Union on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in downtown Lansing.

The project, which is expected to cost around $31 million when completed, is expected to be completed in stages. The apartments in the old Lake Trust building will be available from October. The new building will open in the first quarter of 2023.

The project presented challenges typical of working in older buildings, including more than $1.5 million in asbestos removal and demolition, according to Rocky Shepard, WestPac’s on-site representative.

Crews work on a new building as part of City View Apartments on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in downtown Lansing.

“In an old building you always find new things,” he said. “Some asbestos work that we thought had already been done, wasn’t. There were major electrical issues, a bunch of underground stuff.”

Inside the new apartments

The new apartments will include washers and dryers and have individual thermostat control.

Rental prices have not been set, but both buildings will include affordable, market-priced apartments. Studios and one or two bedroom apartments will be available.

Related: Rents are skyrocketing in downtown Lansing. Will the tenants stay?

In addition to the apartments, the new building will house a gym and a roof terrace. The Lake Trust building will have shared office space on the ground floor.

The ground floor of the City View apartments inside the former Lake Trust Credit Union building pictured Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in downtown Lansing.  The ground floor will be a shared office space.

WestPac is also hoping to get approval for an observation deck on the roof of the old Lake Trust building.

“There’s a big concrete vault that ran a cooling unit. It’s about 2,500 square feet and it has 20-foot high ceilings,” Smith said. “We are hoping to apply to the city to add this as a common space for the property.”

A yet to be developed rooftop space inside the former Lake Trust Credit Union building pictured Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in downtown Lansing.

WestPac has several resorts in Greater Lansing, including Elevation Apartments in Okemos and NoCa Lofts in East Lansing. Work continues on the Okemos Villagea mixed-use site at the corner of Hamilton and Okemos roads that includes 200 apartments and commercial space.

Lake Trust moved to Brighton in 2015 but operated a branch from its town center headquarters for years thereafter. The site was considered the location of a Lansing New Town Hallbut was sold to developers in 2018.

Rocky Shepard, WestPac's on-site representative, pulls the door to the bank vault on the ground floor of the City View apartments inside the old Lake Trust Credit Union building during a visit on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in downtown Lansing.

WestPac is also working with the city to build a performing arts center on the property immediately adjacent to the Lake Trust development.

“It’s going to be a nice transitional area. It’s kind of a haven between REO Town and downtown,” Smith said. “There is a bit of a resurgence in this central area, and we hope to be part of it.”

Contact reporter Elena Durnbaugh at (517) 231-9501 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @ElenaDurnbaugh.

David H. Henry