Knapps Centre Restoration Begins

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On Tuesday, city officials and developers announced the start of reconstruction and restoration of the Knapps Centre. Crews started by taking down the letters.

"It's really a coming home for us coming back downtown," said Nick Eyde of The Eyde Company.

The Eyde company owns the Knapps Centre building and will be heading the redevelopment project. Nick Eyde says the final product will be a mix of retail, office and residential spaces.

"Despite where the economy has been, we feel very good and things are looking very promising."

City leaders also hope revamping the building will create economic growth for Lansing.

"It means more people downtown, it means more economic activity on a city block that has been dormant for years," said Mayor Virg Bernero.

Local businesses are also hoping the increased traffic will bring more people to their stores.

"I'm real excited, looking forward to more people coming downtown. That's going to be one of the major attractions down here. I know it used to be and I'm hoping again," said James Comiskey, general manager of Cottage Inn Gourmet Pizza.

However, securing funding for the $36 million project was no easy task. The reconstruction is moving foward thanks to a mix of loans, federal, state and city tax incentives.

"So it's future tax credits, it's saying that they won't pay all that they would've paid if it was just a brand new building," said Mayor Bernero.

In other words, Lansing will give The Eyde Company several years worth of tax credits. Mayor Bernero says he thinks the future return is well worth that investment.

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