East Lansing City Center, Lansing Accident Fund Building and Cedar Street School Projects Approved for Brownfield Redevelopment

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Major Projects Transforming Local Cityscapes

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced state support for an $84-million mixed-use residential and commercial on three city blocks in downtown East Lansing, and in Lansing continuing redevelopment of the historic Ottawa Street Power Station into the new Accident Fund Insurance Company headquarters and conversion of the Cedar Street School to mixed-use commercial space. Combined, the projects will generate $270 million in new capital investment and 737 new jobs. All three will benefit from assistance provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and assistance on two of the projects from the MichiganState Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

"These major projects will create new centers of dynamism and creative commercial activity in the place of blighted and obsolete properties,” Granholm said. “Replacing what isn’t working with what will work for a better future is the essence of economic transformation.”  

The redevelopment projects announced today:

In East Lansing, Strathmore Development Company through affiliate City Center Two Project LLC will use a state brownfield tax credit valued at $10 million and state and local tax capture totaling $57.8 million for Phase One of a large-scale development on 5.46 acres bordered by Grand River Avenue, Abbot andEvergreen roads and Albert Street. The overall mixed-use project will include a total of six new commercial and residential buildings, a pedestrian overpass and 520-space parking deck comprising 585,000 square feet and representing capital investment of $84 million. Phase One consists of a 10-story mixed-use building on three acres to include retail, restaurant and hotel, office space, residential apartments and a performing arts center. It is anticipated that Phase One will create the first 150 of 237 new jobs projected for the entire project.

A $10 million state brownfield tax credit and $33.3 million in state and local tax capture will support conversion of the Ottawa Power Station on the Grand River between Ottawa Street and Grand Avenue in downtown Lansing by Phoenix Development Partners LLC into a new world headquarters campus housing the Accident Fund Insurance Company. The project, announced October 2007, entails demolition and site clean-up making way for development of a seven-acre site including a river's edge park, transformation of the power station into 10 stories of Class A office space, a building addition of five stories, and a five-to-six-story parking deck. The $182 million project will bring 500 new jobs downtown.
The City of Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use $428,322 in local and school tax capture for the renovation, alteration and improvement of the Cedar Street Elementary School in the Old Townarea of downtown Lansing, and will be supported by $4 million private investment. The first floor will house a retail tenant, the second a medical office and physical therapy facilities, and the third floor and roof a membership-based fitness center and gym. The project will expand usable space from the current 13,000 square feet to 20,000 and include surface parking and landscaping. It will be submitted for a gold ranking (the second-highest level) by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program.

“These projects all represent change for the better made possible by Michigan’s brownfield program,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. “State brownfield incentives make it possible for communities to revitalize themselves.” 

The brownfield transformations are among 18 economic development projects the Governor announced today. In all, they are expected to create of 6,917 jobs. Michigan brownfield programs provide incentives to invest in property that has been used for industrial, commercial or residential purposes and to keep that property in productive use or return it to a productive use. Brownfield incentives can be used for functionally obsolete, blighted, or contaminated property.

“Over the past years, MSHDA and MEDC have developeda very effective working relationship, and we are proud to collaborate with MEDC on these brownfield redevelopment projects.” MSHDA Community Assistance Director Joe Borgstrom said. “These partnerships go a long way in not only helping revitalize traditional downtowns, but also in making our downtowns a more vibrant place to live, work and invest.”

In her 2008 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a leader in creating opportunity in the changing world of the 21st century. Since January 2005 the governor and MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 248,000 jobs as a result of targetedassistance provided by the MEDC. 

MSHDA is a quasi-stateagency that provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve safe and decent affordable housing, engage in community economic development activities, and address homeless issues. MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds and notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. For more information on MSHDA programs and initiatives, visit the Web site at www.michigan.gov/mshda.


About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.