Red Cedar Developers Seek Public Input

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Developers are seeking input from the community as they eye construction on a $250 million public design community engagement.

At the second of three charrettes, the public listened to the plans developer Ferguson/Continental Lansing, LLC had for the so-called Red Cedar Renaissance and chipped in ideas of their own.

"The purpose here is to listen and to gain ideas," said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership. "There's a lot of listening that needs to occur and there can always be good and better ideas."

Approximately 50 attendees broke up into six groups, two of each devoted to environmental concerns, transportation concerns and economic concerns. Discussion ensued and by the end of the night, each had come up with questions and suggestions to present tot the developers.

"It's not often you get the opportunity to shape your future," said Lansing resident Rick Kibbey. "When you got a community group like this it's usually united in opposition to you rather than one that just wants to take a look and make the best project we can make. And hopefully we're all in this for the same reason."

Plans years in the making call for the former Red Cedar Golf Course to be turned into a sprawling complex featuring restaurants, shopping, parks and both college and market-rate housing. A hotel is even in the blueprint.

The president of LEAP called the development "nearly impossible" due to tricky topography and the need to navigate the 100-year floodplain.

But with the help of techniques that have never been used in Michigan, the developers hope to have construction completed in two years.

"It's been a tough process to get here because of the site and a lot of things are very difficult," said Bob Trezise. "But it does feel good to be finally engaging directly between developers and the community."

The community seemed eager to be included. Residents voiced their concerns -- many over accessibility to the parks and commercial areas, others over maximizing green space -- but also expressed their optimism for the project.

"We were affirming our excitement I think about combining commercial space with the parkland that we see there and preserving that beautiful flood zone," said Ann Francis, a Lansing resident. "I think that they see this place as kind of a dead zone between Lansing and East Lansing and this could really enliven our neighborhoods and bring us together and have a really great public parks space."

The Red Cedar Renaissance would create hundreds of jobs and new tax revenue for the city, while catalyzing real estate development, said Trezise.

"We as a region as a city as a community as a university have a chance to make a great decision in a 50-year period of time and provide a catalyst and change everything," he said. "It is the perfect place at the perfect time to do this."

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