A local developer wants to build a four-story building on a surface parking lot on the edge of downtown Lansing that would include apartments and retail space.

City council has approved a zoning change that could clear the way for the proposed project located at South Washington Avenue and St. Joseph Street.  It would include 51 apartments, from efficiencies to two-bedroom units, ground-level retail and parking.

Lansing-based insurer Accident Fund Insurance Co. of America has owned the property at 616 S. Washington Ave., which is roughly two-thirds of an acre, since 2001 and plans to sell it.

Bob Johnson, the city's director of planning and neighborhood development, said the city is awaiting submission of a formal site plan.  Once a plan is submitted and approved, building permits could be issued.