Spartan Village Development

Msu spartan 1

A new Spartan Village housing development will be constructed across from the Breslin Center. It will include: a large apartment complex, office building, a garden, townhomes, a parking lot and lots of open space. The project is estimated to cost around $150 million and will be constructed, “...on a 10 acre site on the corner of Harrison and Kalamazoo St. The development will replace the decades-old Spartan Village apartments a mile to the south,”with a state of the art new housing development. The new Spartan Village would be much closer to campus, allowing for a better connection between off campus students and the campus itself.

More Information about the Project

Improvement Ideas

  

    Local Arts   

  

    Author:     Ashley Carter   

    

    Principle:     Community Involvement   

  

    Description:     

Spartan Village’s housing development is suppose to be a place where people can gather and connect with those on and off campus. The plans called for a garden, a parking lot and lots of open space amongst other things. I think it is imperative to utilize this space the best way possible and give it purpose. You can do so by holding local festivals and performances. The people from the community from craft groups, organizations on campus and just locals would help put on these large gatherings. “Today a performance tent is located at one end of the square in which weddings, holiday performances, and fashion shows are held, and there are several different types of markets around the park’s perimeter. The park is functioning as a successful central square for the people of San Bernardino.” (Creating Great Urban Parks. Kent & Madden.)

  

Artfest

  

    Multicultural block   

  

    Author:     MIchel Metzner   

    

    Principle:     culture and connectivity   

  

    Description:     

East Lansing should be a multi cultural city. Michigan state is a huge university that has lots of international students. Yet the city of east lansing does a terrible job at including them and making them feel welcome. All the stores are just big chain stores that you see all across america. It’s not creative and it’s not inclusive. My idea would be to turn the Spartan Village project into a sort of multicultural square. We should be more aware of the other cultures alive in our city and give a place where these cultures can be expressed and intermingle with other cultures.
Currently spartan village is a inexpensive place to live right now, I want to keep those aspects of Spartan village while adding some energy and life to the place. The way that many people experience another culture is through food, because of this I think it would be cool to have different restaurants or food trucks that offered different cultural foods, there could be a Chinese restaurant, a mediterranean food truck, a restaurant that serves Indian food, the possibilities are endless. The best possible scenario would that these eateries would be owned by small businesses. I would add these eateries to what they are currently planning on building office spaces, What would also add to the cultural value is if the architecture matched what the architecture looks like in different countries, the buildings of apartments, townhouses and businesses could be designed in ways that would be typical for another country. These additions and modifications would turn Spartan Village into a multicultural hub that would add some diversity and culture to East Lansing.

  

Food truck

  

    Amphitheater   

  

    Author:     Brendan Carney   

    

    Principle:     Community Space   

  

    Description:     

One key aspect to the Spartan Village Development is to include community space into the project in order to promote students to intermingle in their shared living spaces. There are many open spaces between buildings in Spartan Village, meaning there is plenty of room to add community spaces for all tenants to enjoy. The addition of an all seasons amphitheater would be one way to utilize the extra space and promote music among students.

The space could not only be used for students in Spartan Village, but students could come from all over campus to enjoy music performances by fellow students or local performers. Music has the unique ability to bring different kinds of people together and allows them to set aside their differences for the mutual enjoyment of an artist. Allowing many different performers from all over campus perform in the amphitheater would allow for the different fans to mingle in the audience and build relations among students. The addition of the amphitheater could be added with minimal additional cost to the project and it could be used for many years. It is an easy way to bring a community connection to students.

  

Amphitheater

  

    Inclusivity through Bikes   

  

    Author:     Gejsi Rada   

    

    Principle:     Connectivity   

  

    Description:     

Spartan Village will be transformed into an area with many students that will utilize its open space and the multitude of acres that the project will cover. Unlike the previous location of Spartan Village, this will be across the street from campus and will be within friendly biking distance. Therefore, many of the residents of this living space will likely bring their bikes along with them and expect to use them as their main mode of transportation during the school year.
To cater to the needs of the plethora of bikers, they should add a unique biker fix-all post similar to the one that has just been put on the corner of Albert and Abbott. A few of these across Spartan Village would bring bikers together when they go to do something simple like pump up their tire, or tighten their handlebars. Thus bringing a community of people with similar interests together, and also serving them a great resource by bringing it to them and saving them from having to go to the MSU Bike Store every time they need to do something as simple as inflate their tire on a cold fall morning.

  

Bike tool

  

    Student Housing should be Affordable for Students   

  

    Author:     Kate Den Houter   

    

    Principle:     Housing Inequality   

  

    Description:     

1855 Place is a new addition to Michigan State University’s apartment housing options. Located next to the older University Village Apartment Complex and across from the Breslin Center, 1855 Place offers luxury amenities and a variety of different fully furnished apartment layouts for its residents. With prices ranging from around $800 to $1000 a month, per person, the apartments at 1855 Place rank among some of the most expensive housing for MSU students. And, while 1855 Place offers a close proximity to campus along with a variety of other convenient amenities, it is rather contradictory for the University to have student housing rent rates above that of what the average student can afford.


East Lansing is strongly shaped by the University and by the students who attend it. However, when the rent prices for the housing close to campus are too high, it forces students farther into Greater Lansing in search of more affordable housing. As a result of this relocation, the MSU campus and East Lansing is experiencing a loss of identity and community. It is imperative that MSU considers lowering the prices of its apartments to better accommodate the financial situation of most students, as being closer to campus has been shown to help students succeed both personally and academically. Students are an integral part of the East Lansing community, but if housing isn’t affordable it will result in more individuals choosing to live farther from the campus, not only effecting the culture of East Lansing, but also its economy.

  

Improvement 3

  

    Architecture and the Urban Environment   

  

    Author:     Benjamin Roth   

    

    Principle:     Placemaking for People   

  

    Description:     

Architectural stylings have evolved consistently over time. Different production and construction methods are consistently allowing for innovative materials and designs to be applied to spaces. These innovations allow for buildings to have greater structural integrity while becoming cheaper, lighter, and more environmentally friendly. With these innovations, however, comes a divergence in style, away from the stoic, collegiate nature of Neoclassical, Gothic, and Victorian stylings and towards a more sterile, suburbanite, Postmodernist look. While new forms of architectural design can be innovative, fascinating, and inspiring, we should be careful of the way with which we integrate them into living spaces.


Spartan Village is an interesting case study of urban design. Its use of angles, metal, and glass explicitly announce its novelty, yet these concepts are not applied consistently. Instead of following the same design language as the nearby Brodie Complex, Breslin Center, or West Circle dormitories, Spartan Village uses unfamiliar concepts that are not even consistent within its own boundaries. Some buildings, like 1855 Place itself, are quite modern, while other buildings, mostly residential spaces, evoke ideas of pop-up neighborhoods. Some are covered with smooth white and metallic surfaces, while others are beige, brown, and bland. The development is not overly dense, and its openness further elicits the concept of suburbia.


All of this inconsistency, coupled with the uncreative blandness present in most (but not all) of its living quarters, creates a dilemma for the development’s soul. It seems unsure of itself, more focused on the act of existing than the purpose of its intentions, and lacking staying power. The buildings have no heart and soul, they don’t create an identity for the inhabitants, and they don’t encourage interaction or population through their style. To those unaware, they don’t even naturally connect themselves with the university.


Designing places for people -- the would-be inhabitants -- with consistency, purposeful intent, and for longevity can go an extremely long way in coaxing an open, inclusive, desirable public space. Spartan Village, instead, looks like a modern, soulless place constructed for the utility of housing, rent, and profitability.

  

Tumblr lwj8oh3z901qa7kre

  

    Rec Center   

  

    Author:     Makenzie Brown   

    

    Principle:     Connectivity   

  

    Description:     

Spartan village is an awesome new development that I think really betters MSU’s campus. I would not change the overall idea but instead I would add to it. With new athletic department offices now located at 1855 Place I would love to continue the idea of sports as focus point. Other Universities are way ahead of us in terms of modernity and infrastructure. The University of Minnesota has recently built an amazing recreation center that more than outshines IM West. It’s time we update our facilities to keep up with these other institutions and build a state of the art rec center.

A place for all students to come together and interact and be active other the the union would be extremely beneficial, both for revenue and community involvement. A facility that has a pool, basketball courts, track, gym, tennis courts, squash courts, etc is something that needs to happen sooner rather than later. I mentioned the varsity team offices are now located here and it would be cool if the club team offices could be gathered here too. Intermixing varsity and club sports would accommodate the good city principle that is connectivity. Even though I am an athlete and have access to the best facilities, I would be extremely excited to see a new rec center that allows this experience for all 50,000 MSU students and even the greater Lansing community.

  

U of m recreation center 3

  

    Door front diversity   

  

    Author:     Colin Liang   

    

    Principle:      Cultural diversity facilitated by foods   

  

    Description:     

MSU has more than 6,000 international students, and the population covers countries around the whole world. The atmosphere of the campus should be a big melting pot of various religions, cultures, and backgrounds, but the reality is lines are drawn between groups of people. People are willing to reach out and to experience different cultures, but inadequate urban planning consideration by the university limits people's’ opportunity to enjoy the existence of diverse cultures. Spartan Village accommodates a good amount of international students, the prime location of the community presents a strong tie with other university facilities. The Door Front Diversity idea is to make great use of the restructure opportunity to build additional culture facilitating structure that would provide places for the different cultural groups to share their unique identities with the community. Foods are a strong presentation of a culture, people process and consume different cuisines around the globe; we can always find a tight connection between the foods and the cultural groups. I propose an International Food Market as one of the ideas to promote stronger appreciation on different cultures within the community. Different cultural food vendors could operate their booths in the market selling deli or raw produces; I picture the place to be authentic and unique and not to be corporate. The market would be regulated and operated by the university to ensure the initial intention would be strictly followed, and that would prevent the place to be fully capitalized and manipulated by the businesses. There would be a food gallery showcase corner that allows students or even local city cultural groups to have special cuisines offerings, or it could be an educational session that teaches attendees the relations of the cuisines and the cultural identities.
Ideally, the international food market idea is intended to be inclusive and it includes various food vendors to present their cultural cuisines while being lucrative. The university would be a strong support to facilitate the operation of the market, and the market would draw great attention from the students; the market would be an excellent platform for students, city residents to spend leisure time. Ultimately, it would encourage cultural groups to share their cultures without concerning being judged.

  

Milwaukee public market interior

  

    Inclusivity of Community Areas   

  

    Author:     Kristina Gerding   

    

    Principle:     Inclusion of community in a public space   

  

    Description:     

With the buildup of certain areas in a city, it is vital to include aspects that will benefit all members of a community. The Spartan Village Development project has ambitious plans to include housing, office buildings, parking, retail spaces, and an outdoor community garden space. Building an area like this will only be successful in bringing together this divided community if it is done with this goal in mind. The article by the New York Times about designing a more inclusive city states that the people behind designing and planning spaces, such as Spartan Village, have the power to either strengthen this divide in a community or to totally erase it. Decisions about the design of a space can ultimately lead to a greater sense of belonging in a community. If this element of community space remains in the design plans, Spartan Village will hopefully help to bridge the divide existing between the university and the surrounding community members.

  

Pic

  

    Inclusivity of Community Areas   

  

    Author:     Kristina Gerding   

    

    Principle:     Inclusion of community in a public space   

  

    Description:     

With the buildup of certain areas in a city, it is vital to include aspects that will benefit all members of a community. The Spartan Village Development project has ambitious plans to include housing, office buildings, parking, retail spaces, and an outdoor community garden space. Building an area like this will only be successful in bringing together this divided community if it is done with this goal in mind. The article by the New York Times about designing a more inclusive city states that the people behind designing and planning spaces, such as Spartan Village, have the power to either strengthen this divide in a community or to totally erase it. Decisions about the design of a space can ultimately lead to a greater sense of belonging in a community. If this element of community space remains in the design plans, Spartan Village will hopefully help to bridge the divide existing between the university and the surrounding community members.

  

Pic

  

    City Marketplace and Cultural Diversity   

  

    Author:     Kelsey Storemski   

    

    Principle:     Cultural Diversity   

  

    Description:     

The Spartan Village development plan has almost everything; offices, apartments, townhomes, parking spaces, and a garden. However, the area needs to have something unique that will personally connect it to the culture of Lansing and East Lansing. Currently, there is an obvious divide between the students and the established residents in the area, and this is primarily because the city lacks spaces that make it possible two demographics to interact. In order to improve this issue, the Spartan Village development plan should include a warehouse that can be used as an eclectic city market for local kiosks, restaurants, and businesses. This city market would be a great way for residents and students to interact with each other in a relaxed setting without the typical rush of traffic or late night debauchery. This idea would also help create jobs and additional options within the city that are affordable for people from all financial backgrounds. The market would give diverse groups within the community a feeling of acceptance, as well as a chance to share some of their culture with other locals in a united setting. The indoor environment would protect people from the outside elements and would create a safe atmosphere for kids, families, and students within the confines of the building. This market would also help connect the old and new elements of the city’s art and history and would give visitors a holistic understanding of what it means to live in the area. Tourism within the city would like increase because of the uniqueness of the market, which would help boost community involvement and the city’s economy.

  

Market

  

    Door front diversity   

  

    Author:     Colin Liang   

    

    Principle:     Cultural diversity facilitated by foods   

  

    Description:     

MSU has more than 6,000 international students, and the population covers countries around the whole world. The atmosphere of the campus should be a big melting pot of various religions, cultures, and backgrounds, but the reality is lines are drawn between groups of people. People are willing to reach out and to experience different cultures, but inadequate urban planning consideration by the university limits people's’ opportunity to enjoy the existence of diverse cultures. Spartan Village accommodates a good amount of international students, the prime location of the community presents a strong tie with other university facilities. The Door Front Diversity idea is to make great use of the restructure opportunity to build additional culture facilitating structure that would provide places for the different cultural groups to share their unique identities to the community. Foods are a strong presentation of a culture, people process and consume different cuisines around the globe; we can always find a tight connection between the foods and the cultural groups. I propose an International Food Market as one of the ideas to promote stronger appreciation on different cultures within the community. Different cultural food vendors could operate their booths in the market selling deli or raw produces; I picture the place to be authentic and unique and not to be corporate. The market would be regulated and operated by the university to ensure the initial intention would be strictly followed, and that would prevent the place to be fully capitalized and manipulated by the businesses. There it would be a food gallery showcase corner that allows students or even local city cultural groups to have special cuisines offerings, or it could be an educational session that teaches attendees the relations of the cuisines and the cultural identities.

Ideally, the international food market idea is intended to be inclusive and it includes various food vendors to present their cultural cuisines while being lucrative. The university would be a strong support to facilitate the operation of the market, and the market would draw great attention from the students; the market would be an excellent platform for students, city residents to spend leisure time. Ultimately, it would encourage cultural groups to share their cultures without concerning being judged.

  

Screen shot 2017 11 29 at 12.53.55 pm

Add an improvement:

 
    
       
  
    
       
  
    
       
  
    
  
Add Your :
  
    

Back