(LANSING, Mich.) – This morning, Mayor Andy Schor announced that the Red Cedar development has taken its next step toward being finalized. Schor announced that the Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority unanimously approved a Brownfield Plan for the Red Cedar development project during their board meeting on Feb. 15, and has been forwarded to the Lansing City Council for review and approval. The Brownfield Plan is the financing mechanism for the already-approved development agreement on this property. This Red Cedar project has been in progress for more than six years.
Schor was joined by Bob Trezise, President and CEO of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), as well as Calvin Jones, Chair of the Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (LBRA). Also in attendance, were the developers on the project, Frank Kass and Joel Ferguson, business partners of Lansing-based Continental/Ferguson LLC.
“I am excited that we are taking the next step toward making this development a reality,” said Mayor Andy Schor. “The economic development associated with the Red Cedar project will be a tremendous addition to the work being done on Michigan Avenue, creating an exciting and vibrant entrance to the City of Lansing and connector between the Capitol and MSU. City Council unanimously passed the development agreement for this property, and I look forward to their final review of the Brownfield Plan so we can get shovels in the dirt as soon as possible.”
Under the terms of the 2018 Real Estate and Purchase Agreement (REPA), the Continental/Ferguson development team and their partners will invest more than $200 million to create a multigenerational mixed-use global village, which incorporates diversified housing options, a main street, a river view restaurant, parks, low impact environmental design, and new hotels; all elements identified through three public charrettes.
The development will also feature a newly constructed public boardwalk linking the property to the Lansing River Trail, a public amphitheater and a pedestrian walkway connecting to Michigan State University.
“It is a rare privilege to be involved in such an exciting project on the edge of Lansing, next to Michigan State University that connects East Lansing to Downtown Lansing along this critical corridor,” said Frank Kass. “After the community input and work sessions over the past few years, and with the changes to the original project’s design and financing, we have now estimated our project costs and determined our construction schedules. The real work begins in earnest to design and build an extraordinary development that will be a vital component of the Michigan Avenue Corridor’s continued renewal.”
“I’m so proud to be part of a project that will be a game changer for Lansing, the Michigan Avenue Corridor and the region” said Ferguson. “And I am very fortunate to have Frank Kass as a partner, whose company brings experience, vision and construction expertise to this development. Together, we are going to build a project that the entire community will embrace and create a new benchmark for future development along Michigan Avenue,” continued Ferguson.
Major infrastructure improvements, estimated at $54 million, are necessary to overcome the extraordinary challenges of building on a designated flood plain. A large portion of these infrastructure costs will be financed through Brownfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
“The City of Lansing taxpayer is not putting any dollars directly into this important project, but will benefit tremendously,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “To make the project feasible, the Lansing Brownfield Authority will issue public bonds for infrastructure on this site which will be backed 100% by the developer and paid back solely with the new tax revenues generated by the Red Cedar project.”
With the Brownfield Plan being unanimously approved by the LBRA, the plan is expected to be presented to Lansing City Council at their Feb. 25 meeting. In addition to the Council’s approval, the project will require future approvals from the State of Michigan and local governing bodies, which are expected to act in early summer. Pending all necessary approvals, construction is expected to commence in September 2019.