ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Clark Hill Project: From Suburbs back to City

Updated on November 14, 2012

Reverse migration to the city

The Clark Hill project, completed in 2004, again proves what can be accomplished with a variety of actors working together to achieve tangible results. Here, an obsolete mill building was remade to house a thriving modern law firm with branches around Michigan. Just as importantly, it pioneered the reversal of the conventional wisdom that held that businesses inevitably migrate out from city center to suburbs, and in fact overturned this logic. The result is a stable local employer which expanded its workforce as an outcome of this cooperation.

The History of the Building

Originally a mill facility built in 1846 on Race Street adjacent to the Grand River, this structure ranks as the oldest industrial building in the city of Lansing. Its site was no doubt influenced by its proximity to the river. It is distinguished by its inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. After its usable life as a mill, it sat idle for some years. It was certainly prime real estate, as it contained some 17,000 square feet of rentable space. Still, it was considered obsolete for modern purposes. This part of Lansing is called Old Town, and is indeed one of the oldest parts of the city. In recent years, it has been a cultural renaissance zone, and is home to a thriving arts and music community. This building is also near the North Lansing Dam and is next to the River Trail, so the idea of an historic building renovation easily took root here.

The Transition

The first step was of course to coordinate the agencies necessary to this type of project. The Lansing Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) was at the center of the brainstorm from the start. Also involved was the Old Town Commercial Association. Finally, the Mayor's office played a critical role in the fruition of the idea. A $667,000 grant was obtained from the State of Michigan's Clean Michigan Initiative Waterfront Redevelopment Program to provide the financial fuel for this project. Physical improvements included a stone patio, decorative ironwork, parking expansion and seating areas, all obviously outside. Inside, a remodeling for office space was effected to attract new tenants. They were not long in coming.

Enter Clark Hill

The Clark Hill law firm was perhaps the ideal solution to this tenant question. Clark Hill, founded in Detroit in 1890, has evolved over the years to become a full-service firm and serves clients with offices in Detroit, the Lansing area and other cities around Michigan. They were comfortably situated in Okemos, a prosperous suburb to the east of Lansing, so it took something extra to entice them to move into town. This was accomplished through a joint effort involving Clark Hill and the agencies named above.

The Lesson Learned

This striking success story has lessons to teach. It certainly shows what can be accomplished with coordination of private and governmental entities working together with the right inputs of planning and monies. It also demonstrates intelligent reuse of an historic site adapted for more modern purposes. Today, the Clark Hill building anchors the further enhancement of the Old Town community and employs about sixty professionals in a variety of capacities. It is hoped that this example can inspire other projects of this kind not only in Lansing, but elsewhere as well.


Clark Hill Building from Grand River Ave. Bridge

Clark Hill Building showing Lansing River Trail and North Lansing Dam
Clark Hill Building showing Lansing River Trail and North Lansing Dam | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Paolocruz profile image

      Paolo Cross 

      5 years ago from Philippines

      Nice!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)