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Knapp's project gets Renaissance Zone designation

Knapp's Department Store in Lansing during its glory days. The building has been designated a state renaissance zone, which will eliminate nearly all state and local taxes for the next 12 years. WKAR Photo
Knapp's Department Store in Lansing during its glory days. The building has been designated a state renaissance zone, which will eliminate nearly all state and local taxes for the next 12 years. WKAR Photo

By Gretchen Millich, WKAR News

LANSING, MI – http://wkar.org/images/library/programs/REWMI-120.jpg

A proposed redevelopment of the former Knapp's department store in downtown Lansing took another big step forward Wednesday. The Michigan Strategic Fund board approved the building as a Renaissance Zone, wiping out almost all state and local taxes for the next 12 years.

Bob Trezise is President and CEO of the Lansing Economic Development Corporation. He says this and other incentives will allow the developer to tackle the big cost of renovating the building.

"It's a very large building," he says. "It takes up almost a whole city block. And just about everything is wrong with the interior infrastructure. It's very aged. The entire Art Deco tiling on the outside is quite literally falling off, so the building is in dire straits. Really this is its last chance to be rescued, it's that bad."

Trezise says city officials are still waiting on some additional incentives from the federal government. The redevelopment plan calls for retail and restaurant space on the first floor and offices and residential space on the upper floors.


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