Council signs off on historic greek district

Six fraternity and sorority buildings are now protected from changes to their architecture and design after the East Lansing City Council approved Tuesday the creation of a Fraternity-Sorority Historic District.

The district doesn’t fall under any geographic boundaries like the city’s other historic districts, Councilmember Roger Peters said.

“We looked at the buildings that would be worthy of preservation and protection,” Peters said. “Since they’re scattered around the city, we’d be linking them together by theme.”

Seven other fraternity and sorority buildings, which were included in original plans for the district, were left out because council members deemed the buildings were too new or disrupted projects such as the city’s East Village development.

Council also approved a six-year personal property tax exemption for IBM to locate in East Lansing.

The tax exemption applies to nonreal property taxes like furniture and computer equipment, said Tim Dempsey, community and economic development administrator for East Lansing.

“The exemption is a for a six-year period because it’s a five-year lease that starts during the middle of the year, and we want to make sure it covers for the full term,” Dempsey said.

The council also scheduled a public hearing March 3 to discuss Gaslight Village, a development consisting of 40 townhouses and 20 apartments north of Abbot and Lake Lansing roads.

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