Should Lansing Forgive Radisson Debt?

By: Lori Dougovito
By: Lori Dougovito

Radisson investors owe the City of Lansing $17 million, a proposed agreement knocking it down to $1 million could be voted on next week.
The agreement calls for a $300,000 payment up front with an additional $700,000 to be paid over the next roughly 11 years. The agreement also allows the city to be able to invest in another hotel if it wanted to. It can't under current terms.

At Mondays' Committee of the Whole meeting, an independent financial consultant advised council members to take the deal.

"I wish there was another solution, but there isn't so it looks like we're locked into this for quite some time. " says Council President Sandy Allen.

Negotiations have been ongoing for the last year or so and what investors will do depends heavily on what the city does. George Brookover, attorney for the investors, says his clients have to decide on investing millions of dollars to re-brand the hotel or to continue with the Radisson brand.

It's unclear what would happen if the Radisson name is dropped or if investors would drop the hotel altogether. It's not netting money year to year says Brookover, just enough to pay its bills. Investors have not had to pay the city any money in the 20 years the hotel has been in Lansing because it never made enough to have to under current terms.

The Economic Development Corporation Board will look over the proposed agreement Tuesday and if it's sent through, council will vote on forgiving the debt at next Monday's meeting.

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