LCC Offers Lansing $2.52 Million for Oliver Towers

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Officials from Lansing Community College made their intentions clear Monday.

LCC wants to buy the land Oliver Towers sits on and they're willing to pay $2.52 million in cash for it. That's the offer the school made in a letter to Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.

"It's the only place for us to grow," said LCC Board of Trustees chair Larry Meyer. "It's critically important to the strategic needs of the school and for our students... I would like to see LCC own that land, plain and simple."

The school's offer is pending an official board resolution. It competes with an offer made my Davenport University.

A tentative deal awaiting Lansing City Council approval would swap two of Davenport's current buildings for Oliver Towers and the city's Parking Lot #2. Davenport says it plans to build a new $13 million building for more than 2,000 students on the Oliver Towers site.

The Lansing City Council had a chance Monday to move that proposal out of committee and set a public hearing for later in the month, but a 4-4 vote put that plan on ice.

Lansing City Attorney Brig Smith says the charter would require at least 6 Council votes to eventually pass the proposal.

Mayor Bernero termed the Council action a "debacle" and says he's worried the delay might cause Davenport to think twice.

"This is a very dangerous game of roulette with an outfit that can go anywhere," said Mayor Bernero.

The Mayor says Davenport University's potential expansion in the city would mean more than the $2.52 million LCC is offering.

"That's a one-time shot," said Mayor Bernero. "I'm talking about Davenport building a new institution in the community."

And because the proposal hasn't been officially approved by the LCC Board, Mayor Bernero is skeptical about whether the offer is simply an attempt to block Davenport's move.

"They want to kill this Davenport project and I can't understand it," said Mayor Bernero. "[Their offer] means nothing. It's not worth the paper it's written on."

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