Park District to move forward if current and former developers reach agreement
The East Lansing City Council voted to allow the Park District Project to move forward if the current and former developer can come to an agreement.
In order to preserve the Michigan Business Tax Credit associated with the building, the current and prior developers must come to an agreement to transfer them, East Lansing Director of Planning, Building and Development Tim Dempsey said.
“It seems logical that a deal should be reached because you get nothing or you don't get $10 million so it seems like there should be a deal,” City Manager George Lahanas said.
The council voted to rescind the most recent development plan that was approved and reinstate a previous plan, which means the tax credits can transfer if an agreement is reached.
The process is complicated because the tax credits are no longer issued by the state of Michigan, but since the credits are tied to the property and development they are still valid, Lahanas said.
“This is a pretty convoluted process and the reason is because the state is kind of figuring this out as they go along as well,” Lahanas said.
If an agreement is not reached, this version of Park District will be scrapped and the developer would have to come up with a new idea, Lahanas said. The city and developer have stated the project is not feasible without the tax credit.
The city has a Dangerous Building Ordinance which requires the blighted buildings to come down even without a development project, Councilmember Erik Altmann said.
“If they can come to an agreement and the project goes ahead, that’s great,” Altmann said. “If they can’t and the buildings come down then that’s also just fine with me. That’s the goal of I think a lot of us in the entire city at this point, is just to get those buildings to come down.”