After three years, the Red Cedar Project, a 36-acre development on East Michigan Avenue between U.S. 127 and Michigan State University, is ready for the public. The $260 million mixed-use site includes two hotels, market-rate housing, student apartments, senior living and public amenities like restaurants, a physical therapy office and Hooked bookstore. The developers hope the project will serve as a powerful catalyst for new multi-generational housing, vibrant activity, wide-ranging economic impact and regional pride.
A lot is going on in this section of the Michigan Avenue corridor, but Corri Harvey, director of sales and marketing for Concord Hospitality, which manages both hotel properties, took me on a guided tour. Here’s what I learned.
Hyatt House Lansing/University Area
Developed by Continental Real Estate Companies, Hyatt House Lansing/University Area is a 139-room extended-stay hotel that welcomes guests visiting for as short as a couple of days or as long as a couple of months. The hotel features a 5,000-square-foot event space for weddings and other events with up to 250 guests.
Hyatt House offers a variety of spacious studio rooms and suites to help make any guest feel at home. One of these suites, a 432-square-foot studio space, comes with a king bed, a separate living area with a sleeper sofa and a fully equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances.
“We care for others so that they can be their best,” Harvey said. “We wanted this space to feel like a home away from home for our guests.”
While the standard rate for a room starts at around $159 per night, Harvey informed me that there is a discounted rate for those who stay longer than seven days.
In addition to spacious and well-equipped rooms, Hyatt House offers complimentary Wi-Fi, a full breakfast buffet, on-site laundry, an indoor swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center and an outdoor patio that features grills, a fireplace and access to the scenic trails behind the hotel.
Harvey informed me that every Hyatt hotel also offers guests access to its “borrowing cupboard,” which contains a plethora of items that guests can borrow or purchase, including personal necessities like toothpaste, sewing kits and phone chargers as well as harder-to-pack items like humidifiers and high chairs.
AC Hotel by Marriott Lansing/University Area
On the other side of the development, the AC Hotel by Mariott Lansing/University Area contains 156 guest rooms with sleek, modern furnishings as well as a 3,796-square-foot ballroom for meetings and events with up to 200 people. The hotel hopes to become the central hub for traveling MSU alumni, sports fans and those doing business in the state capital, according to a press release.
“In comparison to Hyatt House, the AC Hotel is more for the transient traveler,” Harvey said. The suites were designed to maximize a sense of openness, with plenty of space to unpack and unwind. Each room contains adjustable reading lamps, plush pillows, a 55-inch smart HDTV, a modern bathroom and a kitchen area with a mini-fridge. A standard room costs around $179 per night, and the suites cost around $279 per night.
Outside their rooms, guests are encouraged to enjoy handcrafted cocktails at the AC Lounge, grab a European-inspired breakfast from the AC Kitchen, work out at the 24-hour fitness center and cool off in the outdoor swimming pool.
Toscana Kitchen & Wine Market
On the first floor of the AC Hotel is Toscana Kitchen & Wine Market, an Italian-inspired restaurant that features private dining rooms, a locally curated Italian marketplace and a self-guided wine-tasting experience. The menu features fresh pasta, premium steaks and seafood, perfectly chilled cocktails and an astonishingly long wine list. Terraces, fire pits and locally sourced interior and exterior plant-scaping contribute to a modern atmosphere.
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