Thursday, February 27, 2020

Mayor Meadows signs Center City development agreement, demolition starts next week

October 31, 2017
Updated renderings for the Center City District project.
Updated renderings for the Center City District project. —

An agreement for the Center City District development project has been reached, according to a press release from the City of East Lansing.

Mayor Mark Meadows signed the Master Development Agreement and demolition begins next week on the existing buildings, according to the release.

Financing for the development was obtained by developer Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors. It was reported the project might fall through because of statements made to Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Beier by Harbor Bay CEO Mark Bell, but Meadows' signature proves the development is moving forward.

“In the last couple of weeks, there have been a number of news reports indicating that the Center City District project was not proceeding. Much of that speculation revolved around the 'walk away' statement by the developer," Meadows said in the release. "I am happy to report that the developer indicated earlier today that it is satisfied that it can provide required performance guarantees and it has signed the Development Agreement.

“On that basis, myself, the Downtown Development Authority and Brownfield Redevelopment
Authority Chair Peter Dewan and various City staff have also signed the Development Agreement."

The next step is for the developer to provide a performance guarantee for the demolition, Meadows said in the release. After that, the City will provide permits for the demolition.

The development includes a 12-story building on Grand River Avenue with 273 rental units above an urban Target store on the first floor. 

On Albert Avenue, a four-floor parking garage and retail space will be built where "Lot 1" currently sits. The garage will create 620 parking spaces, of which 302 are for public use.

Five stories of senior housing will be built on top of the garage.

Parking and land closures

Construction and demolition will cause the Albert Avenue, or Lot 1, parking lot to close, beginning Monday, Nov. 6. Vehicles must be out of the lot by 6 a.m. that day, according to the release.

Demolition to the buildings between Urban Outfitters and Lou and Harry's begins early next week. This will result in lane closure for eastbound Albert Avenue, between Abbot Road. The sidewalk on Grand River Avenue in the project area will also be closed with a pedestrian detour in place.

Businesses will still be open, and those affected by the construction will have parking vouchers to give to customers.

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