We Were Outgunned // Alice Dreger

What happened at the BRA yesterday?  ELi has my report up , but I would sum it up this way:

We were outgunned. And we were paying for the other side’s weapons.

What my reporting team saw yesterday is what we see at so many meetings. People representing our side – in this case, BRA members Jim Croom, Jeff Smith, and Aaron Stephens – ask really reasonable questions and express reasonable skepticism. 

But then, in the end, they vote “yes” without adequate protections for us. In the fog of … Read more →

Selling and redeveloping city’s Evergreen properties is not financially necessary // Eliot Singer

Three of the EverGreen properties

With a new Council and an apparent willingness to look beyond the DDA for solutions to the Evergreen properties quagmire, I am going to revive my analysis from several years ago that it is not financially imperative to sell and redevelop the city’s Evergreen properties, which were originally bought with the intent of tearing them down and replacing with a massive parking garage.

Recall that the properties were bought 10 years ago for more than 3 times their assessed market value, at a time … Read more →

The Quest for Answers on the Center City Ground Lease Payments // Alice Dreger

East Lansing’s City Council voted on Tuesday night to clarify the Center City District ground lease deal so the City can finally start getting paid for use of the public land. I explain the details of the deal in a  new report   up today at ELi . 

Readers of Public Response are often interested in the backstories of major stories, so I wanted to make sure you note you have the opportunity to see my correspondence with city officials and the developers in terms of trying … Read more →

The DDA’s Evergreen Avenue Debt: It’s Time to Think Creatively // Alice Dreger

Three of the EverGreen properties

Tomorrow night, Sept. 10, City Council will take up the question of whether to permanently rezone the DDA’s Evergreen Avenue properties (314-344 Evergreen on the east side) to B3. In a report published today at ELi, I explain what that would mean and list what are seen as the pros and cons of this rezoning: 

https://eastlansinginfo.org/content/rezone-big-redevelopment-near-park-complicated-question-coming-council

As a lot of Public Response readers know, these properties carry about $5.6 million in debt, a debt for with City taxpayers are ultimately responsible. 

That debt … Read more →

Am I math challenged or is the fixmeridianroads group not talking to them selves // Don Bosman

Meridian roads bond proposal

Today we received a second brochure touting a vote to tax ourselves more.
The brochure lists taxes on a $200,000.00 home at $169.28

If you go to the website https://clerk.ingham.org/Department/County%20Clerk/Elections/Election%20Results/August%202019%20Proposal%20Language.pdf
through the link at https://fixmeridianroads.com/the-solution to read the sample ballot language, it states the millage will be for 1.9428, which by my math equals $194.28 on a $200,000.00 home. 

I’ve used a calculator to triple check my math. What am I missing?

Don Bosman
Meridian Township but East Lansing Schools

High rises… (re: Development Updates around East Lansing) // Thomas Greer

Park Place Development - Proposed - East Lansing, Michigan

I was born and raised in East Lansing… Walking to dinner in downtown the other night,

6:45 to 7:00 PM bright sun in the west… not a sliver of it on any part of Albert Ave.. Dreary cold shadows… Is this Progress PEOPLE???  no sunlight making it to our streets  during How many months each year??? Do we really need this new development and especially these 12 story buildings How is this going to help the people of E.L. The TAX paying citizens of … Read more →

Property Taxes Still Not Paid for Dublin Square // Eliot Singer

Dublin Square building - East Lansing

According to City of East Lansing Assessment and Tax information, 327 Abbott Road, LLC, has yet to pay its summer 2018 real property taxes of $41,779.30, now plus interest, since August 31. This is the real property for Dublin Square.

Authentic Properties, LLC, owes $11,010.80 in summer 2018 personal property taxes, plus interest.

I have not checked whether past taxes referred to Ingham County have been paid, but the point is moot.

It is a violation of the city charter to do business with … Read more →

DRW Illegal Trading Litigation? // Eliot Singer

City Center II Rendering

I can find nothing recent about the CFTB litigation against DRW for illegal trading. Months ago there was an article commenting on how long the judge was taking.

I would not expect this to factor into East Lansing government decision making. Ever since the Meadows faction hired Staton as city manager and gave him bonuses for development, the city’s ethic has been: give us your crooks, deadbeats, and cronies yearning for a free ride.

MEDC however has a legal requirement that any litigation be … Read more →

Possible Settlement with City Center II Developer? // Eliot Singer

City Center II Rendering

From the latest ELi story on the Project Formerly Known As City Center II, it appears DRW, the big-league Chicago day-trader, is going to settle with the former developer, in order to put an end to litigation and get those $10 million legacy MBT credits and brownfield money.

The MBT credits and 2008 brownfield were assigned to the lender and there is no evidence they were ever returned to PDIG/CCTP in the Cuyahoga settlement. There is also no evidence the lender assigned the credits … Read more →

Latest Tax Giveaway for Project Formerly Known As City Center II // Eliot Singer

City Center II Rendering

1) Revelation that DRW/Convexity was going to ask for a brownfield waited until after the vote on income tax.

2) There will be no money to pay for public services for the project for the duration of the brownfield (which could have been spread out longer, at 50/50 tax increment, if any tax diversion is warranted). I see there has been another shooting in the Grove St. garage, and with reduced property tax millage, the contribution toward public safety from the DDA TIF district … Read more →

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