People Anxious About Red Cedar Development Progress

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

Voters gave the go-ahead in November for Lansing City Council to sell the remaining Red Cedar land, so what's the hold up with the development project?

"It's complicated, and it's a big puzzle that we need to continue to put together," Lansing Economic Area Partnership President and CEO Bob Trezise said.

It's a multimillion dollar puzzle with pieces from the City of Lansing and East Lansing, Michigan State University, Frandor businesses, developers, the county drain commissioner, and the list goes on.

"There are a lot of parties having to have a lot of dialogue because there is a lot to think about," Trezise said.

But many people are growing a little impatient wanting to see results, especially city council who says the development is critical to helping Lansing's deficit through new tax revenues.

"As the councilwoman that represents that area, of course I'm a little frustrated and anxious because it's a huge project for our area, but I also understand we have to be responsible as we move forward," First Ward City Councilwoman Jody Washington said. "We want the absolute best."

Several neighborhood associations in the area said everyone would like things done quicker, but they understand it's a complex issue. After waiting this long already, they just want it done right.

"We aren't nervous about it yet," Lynne Martinez said, who lives near Red Cedar. "We're just really excited. We understand the potential that it has to really improve the East Side, Michigan Avenue, the whole corridor."

Hotels and luxury apartments are a long way away though. Construction won't begin until 2014 at the earliest, but first thing's first: a more than $200,000 environmental study on the drain system, which hasn't even begun yet.

"The problem is you can get impatient, and I do too, you want things to happen faster rather than slower, because it is exciting, but we got to make sure we do everything correctly," Trezise said.

Even though there won't be any construction this year, there could at least be some property sales. City Council is hoping those come through to help the budget this year.

There should be more information about developers and the project's progress in the next month.


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