Community members discuss future of Red Cedar Renaissance at final meeting

At a second and final charrette on the subject, community members were invited to review prior input and ask questions. Some of the community’s desires for the space were canoe launches, an extension of trails from campus and a gateway into campus.

The redevelopment, known as the Red Cedar Renaissance, borders Michigan Avenue, Brody Neighborhood, the Red Cedar River and South Clippert Street.

Ohio-based property developer Franklin Kass, one of project’s lead developers, said various housing options for students are integral.

Kass said the project, which also might include retail shops, restaurants, a hotel and an amphitheater, will be a magnet in attracting students to MSU.

He said the project will provide a solution for city officials in Lansing and East Lansing who are looking for ways to keep students from leaving after graduation and to entice young professionals.

“This ... will make young people want to stay in Lansing and East Lansing,” he said.

Although the Red Cedar Renaissance might offer students new housing, shopping and entertainment options, no students attended the charrette.

With the project estimated at costing more than $125 million, MSU plant soil and microbial sciences programmer analyst Brian Baer said the project dwarfs anything he’s seen in the area.

Lansing resident Dwight Washington said he advocates for the addition of an aquarium or museum to the redevelopment. He said the Red Cedar has a cultural sense of place that the development might jeopardize.

“With the development of commerce and industry in the area, that sense may be lost,” he said.

Along with the development, city officials are planning to revamp the development site by petitioning the Ingham County Drain Commissioner to fix the Montgomery drain which runs under Frandor Shopping Center and the site, eventually spewing pollutants into the Red Cedar.

The owner of the shopping center, Lansing Retail Center LLC, sued the city over allegations that city officials are using the project to save money.

According to a January 2013 email between the city’s selected developers, which is being used as evidence in the lawsuit, the drain project could “potentially save millions in construction costs relating to the expense of constructing building foundations within the flood plain.”

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