The Year of the Grown-Ups (and Helping Local Businesses) // Alice Dreger

Since MSU’s announcement yesterday that all undergrad classes will be online, I have heard from three different long-time East Lansing friends something along the lines of this: “Maybe this year will be the year of the grown-up downtown? And we have to save local businesses!”

So I have an idea of how to combine these! Let’s put together an organic, decentralized series of fun things to do to bring people downtown that we can do with masks and social-distancing, and encourage people to participate … 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 →

Mourning Loss of Mackerel Sky // Eliot Singer

Mackerel Sky - East Lansing - Street Shot

I was saddened to see that Mackerel Sky will be closing, after celebrating 30 years. I met Tom and Linda in 1980, right after we first moved to Michigan, when they were co-owners of Brother Gambit, back when downtown East Lansing had a vibrant small, locally-owned, business community, which we regularly patronized, despite, at the time, living in west Lansing. There was still such a community, as well as vibrant historic neighborhoods and the top local school system, when we chose to buy a … Read more →

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 →

Review of the Cost of Redevelopment Financial Missteps // Eliot Singer

City Hall, East Lansing

I have heard from a number of people asking me to review the history of the costly pursuit of redevelopment in East Lansing, in case anyone wishes to challenge the “not our fault” party line from city hall with regards to financial troubles. This is a summary, based on previous analysis.

1) Somewhat more than 20 years ago, Meadows, Singh, Jester, et al hired “Ted Almighty” Staton as city manager and gave him bonuses for bringing in development. Staton was an advocate of a … Read more →

Library Lot Ann Arbor vs Lot 1 East Lansing // Eliot Singer

Lot 1, Eat Lansing, pre-development

http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2018/06/ann_arbor_inks_deal_to_sell_do.html

Here’s latest on the controversial sale of the Ann Arbor Library Lot to Core Spaces for $10 million.

The Library Lot is 0.8 acres.

East Lansing Lot 1 was 1.35 acres.

If East Lansing had followed the city charter and asked voters to allow sale of Lot 1 and sold for a comparable per-acre value, the city would have received $16,875,000.

On paper, based on value of the recent sales of the private properties for the Harbor Bay project, Lot 1 would … Read more →

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