Lansing City Council Approves Property Transfer For Jackson National Life HQ Expansion

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

When Vicki Neiberg moved into her home on Sandhill Road in May, it was just what she was looking for.

"It was rural, quiet, peaceful and beautiful," she said.

But as of Monday night, the mixture of fields and wetlands that surround her property are as good as gone. This, following a Lansing City Council vote to push along the $100 million expansion of the Jackson National Life Headquarters.

"They see that they're going to get a few pennies of taxes and that's going to be it," said Neiberg.

The expansion includes a large addition behind its current headquarters, but that's not the issue for Neiberg and several others. It's an 80,000 square foot Imaging Center that will be put in across Okemos Road, close to several homes, including Neiberg's.

On Monday, the city council unanimously voted to add that property to a 425 tax-sharing agreement between Lansing and Alaiedon Township, exactly two weeks after the township approved the same agreement, 4-1.

For Lansing, the pros of a property transfer are obvious.

"We'll get the income tax from all the employees there, we'll also get some of the property taxes," said Jeffries.

Lansing will also be paid a fee to add the expansion to its infrastructure, which in turn will cover a tax exemption from the city.

"When we're looking at a budget that's been strapped for revenues, the idea that we will be increasing those revenues is extremely important," said City Council President, Carol Wood.

As far as complaints over the expansion are concerned, Brian Jeffries points to changes already made to the project.

"We took out one of the parcels in response to some of the concerns, so I think we've been responsive and I think Jackson National is a good neighbor," he said.

If all goes according to plan, Jackson National Life hopes to start the expansion, this fall, and finish the project some time in 2015.

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