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City Council approves resurfacing of Mt. Hope

June 9, 2009

Mount Hope Road might soon see an $800,000 face-lift after the East Lansing City Council approved a state-funded revitalization at Tuesday’s meeting.

The City Council approved a bid from the Michigan Department of Transportation, or MDOT, to reconstruct the road from the city’s eastern limits to its western ones at its 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday at City Hall, 410 Abbot Road.

The stretch of road that would be resurfaced would range from the west bridge over US-127 to the east, almost to Farm Lane.

East Lansing’s director of public works, Todd Sneathen, said MDOT placed a bid to do the Mount Hope Road project with federal stimulus money.

City officials and MDOT wanted to quickly move the project along to avoid problems with fall move-in and sporting events on campus.

“We’ve been working with MDOT to try and move this along so we don’t have a conflict with MSU,” Sneathen said.

The first leg of construction will close Mount Hope Road west of Harrison Road. Sneathen said MDOT is projected to begin construction July 27, but it could begin anywhere from late July to early August.

The $116 million City Center II project also was discussed at the council’s meeting. The project’s developer, Strathmore Development Company, asked for a 90-day extension to acquire the remainder of funding for the project. The new deadline would be Sept. 31.

This will be the fourth extension the developer has asked for since October 2008.

Strathmore President Scott Chappelle said he still characterizes the project as moving forward, but because of the poor economy, has not been able to acquire all the funds necessary for the project.

“In Michigan specifically, (the markets) continue to deteriorate and there is no end to that,” he said to the City Council.

Council members expressed some concern about the developer’s ability to financially secure the project.

Councilmember Nathan Triplett asked Chappelle how long the company expected it would take to acquire funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.

“It will take 60 days from the time HUD gets the complete application to when we will have an answer from HUD,” he said in the meeting.

Chappelle said in an interview Sunday he expects $28 million from a HUD loan, which would complete the $112 million the developer is committed to.

The extension is scheduled for approval at the City Council’s June 16 meeting at City Hall.

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