East Lansing community invited to preview reimagined Bailey Center

East Lansing and mid-Michigan residents can get a glimpse of the newly adapted and historically preserved Liberty Hyde Bailey Center when the partners behind the project cut the ribbon and host an open house on Thursday, Nov. 2.

The Capital Area Housing Partnership says it's ready to show off the new center after 13 months of renovation that transformed the 95-year-old school building into a multi-purpose facility—one that answers the city's need for more affordable senior housing, daycare and performance and activity space.

"This project bring additional people downtown, and provides another level of housing for seniors in the downtown area of East Lansing," says Mikki Droste, CAHP development director. "And it provides space for the daycare that the neighborhood clearly wanted to have in that building."

Located at 300 Bailey Street, the Bailey Center stood as a neighborhood elementary school from 1922 to 1985 when the site was acquired by the City of East Lansing. Up until 2014, the site was the home of coordinated activities with the schools, city and parks and rec programs, including childcare, classes and meeting space.

The center was given a new lease on life when CAHP and PK Development group submitted a proposal in 2015 that reimagined the underused and shuttered facility. After a market study and community input, the project broke ground in August 2016, with funding provided through historic and low-income tax credits, partner equity and loans.

The Bailey project consisted of renovating the existing three-story 21,000-square foot structure and constructing a slightly larger three-story addition. The new center will feature 30 one- and two-bedroom apartments for residents 55- and older, a commercial daycare, a renovated gym and performance space, and offices for CAHP. Twenty-five of the apartments are designated for low-income residents, while five are market rate. Rents will vary based on income and will range from about $290 to $800 a month.

"On top of being historically interesting with really high ceilings and open floor plans, the apartments are LEED Silver Certified," says Droste. "So they're extremely energy efficient, and they're in an excellent location that's walkable to downtown."

Although the projected $6 million renovation won't be completely finished until early 2018, project coordinators are moving ahead with a Nov. 2 ribbon cutting from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and a "welcome home" event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The evening event will feature appetizers, drinks, live music, a silent auction, and tour of senior housing and other completed areas. Community members are invited to submit memories in the form of short stories, pictures or memorabilia related to attending school, taking classes, working, or simply enjoying the Baily Center throughout its history. The gathered pieces will be compiled into a visual art piece for display at the center.

Source: Mikki Droste, Development Director, Capital Area Housing Partnership (CAHP)
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor

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