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Is Biggby’s Flagship Store a Creative Icon or an Architectural Dud?

There’s a small debate brewing in East Lansing, Mich., over a development that would involve razing the flagship location of the retail coffee chain Biggby Coffee to make way for a mixed-use building and parking lot.

The question is, according to a recent MLive report, does this Bigby’s location represent an iconic East Lansing landmark that reflects a creative repurposing of an old Arby’s? Or is it an architectural dud?

You be the judge:


The Biggby location first opened in 1995 on Grand River Ave., four years before the company — which changed its name from Beaners in 2007 to avoid racial implications — began franchising. The company now has more than 200 retail locations throughout the Midwest and parts of the South.

Here’s more from MLive about the $15-$20 million redevelopment plan being put forth by the local firm DTN Management Co.:

The proposed redevelopment would include 5,000 square feet of retail space, about half of which would be occupied by Biggby, replacing its current site at 270 W. Grand River Ave.

Plans call for a larger patio seating area and drive-through window for the Biggby, as well as 148 apartments and parking for 190 vehicles.