Ferguson Development Continues to Advance Michigan's Economy
LANSING, MI / ACCESSWIRE / February 8, 2023 / Led by Joel Ferguson of Ferguson Development, the Red Cedar Project is a 33-acre $265 million mixed-use development that offers potential for regional transformation.
Located on a long-abandoned Red Cedar golf course, now connecting the State Capitol to Michigan State University and surrounding communities, the Red Cedar Project includes 40,000-plus square feet of retail and commercial space. There are plans for a beautiful park with an amphitheater for performances, a place to bring the community together while attracting first-time visitors. Anderson Economic Group hailed the project as "one of the most economically impactful mixed-use development projects we have studied."
The Red Cedar Project was recognized at this year's Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce's Regional Growth Awards, celebrating businesses' new economic investment and job creation in the Greater Lansing region. "Despite state-wide construction shutdowns back in early 2020 due to the pandemic, they made excellent progress by pushing hard after the shutdown was lifted. Our subcontractors and the entire team have worked together to maintain an aggressive schedule and safe project," stated Josh Corna, CEO of Continental Building Company.
A founding partner of Continental/Ferguson Development LLC, Ferguson said, "The progress we've achieved during this challenging time has been nothing short of extraordinary. We need more large-scale projects like this to bring us together and grow as a region."
Ferguson's thoughts are reinforced by state representative Jeff Mayes. "The project is good for the neighborhood, creates jobs, and helps support businesses in the area. They're the only developer who cleans up their job site and surrounding streets every day. This project is a huge plus for the city and region. We very much appreciate Mayor Schor and his staff for working closely with us to make it happen."
Long viewed as an important yet under-realized area of possibility, this project serves as a powerful catalyst for new multi-generational housing, vibrant activity, environmental stewardship, wide-ranging economic impact and regional pride. In addition, this development supported the work taking place on the Montgomery drain, transforming a long time environmental problem into a beautiful, clean and natural habitat for all to enjoy.
The Red Cedar Project includes 792 student housing beds, 181 market-rate apartments, two hotels, retail and commercial spaces, and a senior housing development with independent, assisted living and memory care options. Ferguson Development envisioned a multi-generational village where students, families, professionals and seniors live in the same community. "It brings people together when they can learn from each other's different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives," said Ferguson.
Lansing City Council member Carol Wood expressed what this project means for the community. "The Red Cedar Development Project has been a game changer for our community, combining new living spaces with retail and commercial opportunities that create environmentally friendly green and blue space that brings about a unique experience for our region."
"This development will do wonders for our region. The mix of unique lodging and practical amenities and services for residents will showcase our community as both a high-demand tourist destination and an exciting place to live," said state representative Sarah Anthony when asked about the impact this will make in the 68th district that she represents.
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor agrees. "This is how local governments should work. Linking neighbors, commerce and government to do great things. We are thrilled with the project and excited for what it brings to this region."
The Red Cedar Project is not the only development on Ferguson Development's agenda. On the southwest side of Lansing, the Ferguson team has been working on a new construction plan to redevelop vacant property that was once the former Malcolm X elementary school. Additionally in Muskegon they have a multi-million dollar adaptive reuse rehabilitation project of an existing skeletal steel structure that will have a long term impact on the community's overall health and economic vitality. Activating this vacant city corner after it has sat dormant for more than a decade will increase the property's value and tax base, create new tax revenues, bring new jobs, and breathe life and activity back into the neighborhood. On the other side of the state, Ferguson's fourth active multi-million dollar development project includes redeveloping a portion of the old Michigan State Fairgrounds property. The 160-acre property hosted state fairs from 1849 to 2009, the second oldest state fair in the country. Amazon's newest $400 million, 3.8-million-square-foot distribution center takes up 142 acres of the site. Another area of the property will be used for the new $18.6 million Detroit Department of Transportation indoor transit center. Ferguson's team plans to use their portion of the property to revitalize the area by providing more opportunities for growth with new market areas and breakthrough research ventures.
Because of his lifetime of success with developments like the Red Cedar Project, Ferguson caught the eye of the nation's largest African American video oral history archival institution, HistoryMakers. They traveled to Lansing to interview Ferguson about his long list of accomplishments, which will now be housed in the Library of Congress. HistoryMakers digital archives are available in 160 colleges and universities, K-12 schools, and public libraries for educational use by faculty, students and patrons. They wanted to capture his fascinating history in hopes of educating and inspiring many generations to come. Just a snapshot of his accomplishments makes it easy to see why.
"Joel Ferguson has been a phenomenal leader in our community, whether with Spartan Nation, the state of Michigan, or the city of Lansing," Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer reflected. "He's been a tireless advocate continually opening doors that weren't open before and propped them open so others could walk through."
Ferguson shared his thoughts on what inspires him to keep going even at the age of 84. "I grew up in a neighborhood where we all had one thing in common - nothing - we all had nothing and that's why it's so important that I never forget where I came from. I hope to continue giving back and inspiring others for as long as I can; being able to help others is why I do what I do."
About Ferguson Development
In 1973, Ferguson co-founded F & S Development Company, which became Ferguson Development LLC in 1996. Headquartered in Lansing, MI, their developments consist of residential, commercial and mixed-use.
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