Development and Planning

Will Project Really End If Vote is No?

Monday, November 3, 2014

A major point of contention between proponents of “yes” and of “no” votes is whether the Park District project put forth by DTN Management will go forward if the voters vote “no” tomorrow on the authorization of City Council to sell three parking lots. (ELi has explained separately why the blight at the corner of Grand River and Abbot is not the development at issue in this vote; read more here.)

Voters Consider Cost to City from Park District Projects

Friday, October 31, 2014

Image above: Plan rendering provided by DTN, looking west across Abbot Road from above City Hall toward Valley Court Park. The largest building is a planned 7-story parking ramp with a 10-story building wrapped around it. (This does not show the entire Park District area plan.)

What would a “yes” vote on the parking lot sales ballot question mean to East Lansing residents in terms of changes to our city’s debt and our city’s real estate tax revenue? That’s a question on the minds of many East Lansing residents as they go to the polls.

ASK ELi: Why Parking Lots Ballot Question Is NOT about the Blighted Corner

Friday, October 31, 2014

This week's Ask Eli tackles a question we've gotten in conversation with several readers one that can be summed up this way:

Does redevelopment of the blighted area at Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road depend on the parking lot sale ballot question passing?

The answer: The answer is an unequivocal "no." That is simply a different project.

Council Member Didn’t Know Her Mailer Was Paid for by Developer

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Council member Susan Woods says that when Mayor Nathan Triplett asked her to sign a letter going out to voters, she “had no knowledge that the mailer was financed by” a development corporation that stands to financially gain from the vote at issue.

City Doesn’t Know Who Will Occupy Park District Buildings

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

An important question concerning the Park District proposals working their way through the City's Board and Commissions concerns who the tenants will be. The five buildings proposed by the Park District Investment Group and DTN Management Company would add approximately 600 beds of rental housing to an area between Valley Court Park and Abbot Rd. The demographic profile of this dense new residential community is likely to have a profound effect on how the downtown evolves over the coming years.

Four City Council Members Collaborate with Developer on "Yes" Campaign; "No" Campaign Criticized for Lack of Transparency

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

In what appears to be a first, a group of sitting East Lansing City Council members has let a developer pay for a political mailing in which those Council members advocate for a “yes” vote—a “yes” vote from which the developer would likely financially benefit. The mailer apparently does not reveal that the developer, DTN, is funding this political advocacy letter from the Council group, instead only indicating that the letter comes from “East Lansing Park District Committee.”

COUNCIL CAPSULE: October 28, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

ELi’s weekly Wednesday feature, “Council Capsule,” gives you a quick run-down of happenings of note at City Council the night before.

Last night's meeting was a work session. Next week’s meeting will be on Wednesday because Tuesday is Election Day.

Roll Call: All five Council members were present: Mayor Nathan Triplett , Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Ruth Beier, Kathy Boyle, and Susan Woods.

Council Considers Record-Breaking 60-Year TIF to Avoid Sharing Revenues

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Council is hastening to vote to extend the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plan on the Marriott University Place property as much as 30 more years at a 100% level of tax capture, bringing the TIF plan at this location to a record-setting 60 years. The current 30-year plan is not set to expire until December, 2016, but City staff fear that if Council waits to extend it, new rules at the State level will restrict what they can do in terms of TIF at this location.

Urban EL Neighborhood Landlords and Homeowners Meeting

Sunday, October 26, 2014

On Monday, October 27, at 7 pm, homeowners from five East Lansing urban neighborhoods and landlords who rent out houses in those neighborhoods will meet officially for the second time to discuss possible changes to property regulation in those neighborhoods. They will discuss a draft list of recommendations that may then be revised and sent “up” for discussion and approval by City government.

ASK ELi: Are We Really $185 Million in Debt?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Our Friday feature here at ELi is called “Ask ELi to Investigate.” We take a question from a reader and assign a citizen-reporter to investigate the answer, and then we bring you the results. If you’d like to submit a question for “Ask ELi to investigate,” use our contact form.

A reader asks: Is East Lansing really $185 million in debt? How did it get so large?