The DDA's Evergreen Properties

Tuesday, Nov. 19 joint meeting between city council and the Downtown Development Association (DDA)  Note: this meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Hannah Center (because it has enough space to seat the council and DDA members.)

I've only been on city council for a week, and we're diving into the deep end tomorrow night.

 

At issue: the Evergreen properties that the DDA currently owns and last year had the exclusive deal with Vlahakis. It would have to be approved by Dec. 18 by the DDA.

 

The upside is that the plan would allow the Downtown Development Association (and, by extension, the city) to get rid of land that it owes about $5.5 million on. The downside is that it would only be sold for about $3 million, leaving the city with a $2 or $2.5 million debt -- but the land is not considered worth $5 million. I believe that would be added to the TIF.

 

The city would also get a new park area. Or, maybe, low-to-moderate income housing, but I believe the DDA prefers the park.

 

The other downsides -- it has to be done ASAP if it's to be done, not allowing the city to get a current value on the property.  It would also prevent the city from issuing an RFP for development, because it would no longer own the land.

 

The plan calls for a 120' building on the Abbot / People's Church end, about 12 stories. The building steps down to about 7 stories behind Dublin Square.  And the previous TIF would be expanded to pay for city sewer work.

Here are the cover letter and the proposal.

Here are the city's planning department's memo and background information.

 

Here's the EastLansingInfo article about last week's DDA meeting.

It's a lot, I know, but it's important. Please email me at LBabcock@CityofEastLansing.com with your thoughts.

 

Lisa Babcock

East Lansing City Council

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980  Touraine Avenue, East Lansing, MI 48823