Lansing city hall could become hotel

Published: Sep. 13, 2017 at 9:31 AM EDT
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Changes to downtown Lansing's skyline could be coming soon. On Wednesday four developers will present their plans to both move city hall and redevelop the current building.

The plans have different takes on transforming city hall, but all have one thing in common; adding a hotel. The developers are hoping to maximize on city's halls prime real estate location, being just steps away from the state capitol.

The four developers hoping to win the bid Beitler Real Estate Services LLC based in Chicago, Lansing based Boji Group LLC and Karp and Associates LLC, and Urban Systems LLC/WestPac Communities based in Okemos.

The developers aren't giving away many details ahead of Wednesday night's meeting but have released renderings of their plans.

One plan involves renovating the current city hall building and turning it into a hotel.

Two proposals also involve renovating city hall and then building a hotel in the current plaza area. One of those renderings is by Urban Systems and features a Westin hotel, but it's unclear if the hotel chain has committed to coming to Lansing.

The fourth plan is to tear down city hall and build a new hotel, with office and retail space.

The developers are each proposing a new spot for city hall somewhere in downtown, but haven't said the exact location.

Mayor Virg Bernero has been pushing for this change for years. He says city hall needs more than $50 million in repairs, something taxpayers can't afford to fix. Bernero says the best option is selling city hall and moving it to a new spot downtown.

"This building is going to collapse on itself so we can't do nothing, that's not one of the options," Bernero said. "You're going to be able to take the proceeds from this sale and put that into the new city hall which is a better deal for taxpayers than to stay here and refurbish it."

Each developer will have 45 minutes to present their plan at a public meeting. That is happening at 5 p.m. at the Lansing Center.