DRW Convexity Project at Blighted Corner Is Back On Track

Thursday, January 24, 2019, 4:32 pm
By: 
Alice Dreger

DRW Convexity's project for East Lansing’s long-blighted vacant downtown corner is back on track.

Two weeks ago, ELi broke the story that the major redevelopment project by DRW Convexity had been put on hold because the developers submitted plans for building permits that didn’t match what City Council had approved.

East Lansing Director of Planning Tim Dempsey told ELi today that now the developers have submitted a new set of plans aimed at matching what Council approved. Planning staff is reviewing them now, and is not anticipating any additional major problems.

In the meantime, foundation permits for the project’s biggest building have been approved. Excavation has started on the corner lot at Abbot Road and Grand River Avenue.

The excavators working there recently found some unexpected old foundation, so that’s caused a bit of an unexpected delay, but it’s all expected to still be basically on schedule.

The DRW Convexity "Park District" project calls for a 13-story mixed-used building at 100 West Grand River Avenue, a 10-story The Graduate hotel between there and People’s Church at 130 West Grand River Avenue, and a 5-story moderate-income apartment building just north of there, at 341 Evergreen Avenue.

A major electrical trunk line owned by the Lansing Board of Water and Light (BWL) runs underground where the new 13-story building is set to be constructed. That line, which serves most of downtown, has to be moved as part of this project.

City Attorney Tom Yeadon and DRW/Convexity’s attorney David Pierson have been working with BWL to settle on easements related to moving the line. Word is that that is moving along.

Today the East Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) unanimously passed an amendment to the project’s tax increment financing (TIF) reimbursement plan in order to align all the documents in terms of when the developers will be reimbursed for expenses approved under the TIF plan.

Pierson explained that some of the paperwork had been in conflict and so it needed to be fixed. Staff worked with Yeadon and Pierson to fix the issues. BRA members had a few questions about it, which Pierson answered, before they voted in favor.

The TIF plan will run for about nine years and will capture 100% of eligible local taxes to pay for about $7.9 million in project-related costs. About half of that goes to paying for new public infrastructure, like the realignment of Albert Avenue so it will meet straight-on on both sides of Abbot Road, new water mains, and new sewer lines. (Read more.)

Want to know the recent history of the blighted corner drama? Click here.

Want to know about the completely separate Royal Vlahakis "Park Place" project, now under proposal from a completely different set of developers for land just north of the DRW Convexity project? Click here.

 

 

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