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Center City District Plan Considered By East Lansing Officials

East Lansing parking lot No. 1 photo
Scott Pohl
East Lansing parking lot No. 1 would be replaced with a retail-parking-residential complex under a proposal heading to the city council.

The East Lansing city council will consider a large, new development project on Tuesday. It’s known as the Center City District proposal.

Harbor Bay Real Estate hopes to construct ground-level retail space topped with a city-operated parking structure and housing for seniors where city parking lot number 1 now sits on Albert Street. If constructed, the Center City District could move East Lansing’s business profile away from Grand River Avenue, a stretch that faces the MSU campus.

Council member and mayor Mark Meadows says the city has long looked at turning Albert Street into a main street, adding that "we could have businesses on both sides of the street." He says that would also make it more suitable for pedestrians.

The plan is complex, with Harbor Bay seeking a 49-year lease for private development on public land and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority bonding for construction.

The East Lansing city council is also considering a new income tax proposal. There will be public comment on both of these initiatives at the 6 p.m. Tuesday meeting.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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