East Lansing Center City Development Takes Another Step Forward

The Michigan Strategic Fund Board Approval Prepares Project for Groundbreaking

East Lansing’s Center City District development project took another step forward yesterday morning, with approval of incentives by the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) Board made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Following approvals of the brownfield plan, development agreement and site plan by the East Lansing City Council and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority this past summer, the sign-off on Tuesday has positioned the project for a groundbreaking expected in early October.

“LEAP worked hard to package and ensure this project could happen at no cost to East Lansing taxpayers, including seeking incentives from the MSF, and I’m proud that we were able to do that,” said Steve Willobee, LEAP’s chief operating officer. “This project really signifies the national attention our region is now attracting from major investors and businesses across the country. On behalf of LEAP, I want to thank the MEDC for recognizing the importance of this request, and I want to congratulate the city of East Lansing and Mark Bell of Harbor Bay on reaching another project milestone.”

The Center City District project will redevelop the Albert Avenue parking lot and the 100-200 block along East Grand River Avenue, positioning the area as a pedestrian-focused, active living district. The project includes the creation of new and diverse housing options, parking and retail, including one of only 35 urban Target stores in the nation with an urban grocery option.

“Along with Harbor Bay, the Ballein Family, LEAP and input from countless residents, we have developed a project that will serve our city for generations to come,” said East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows. “Yesterday, the MEDC recognized the value of this vision with their approval, and it’s rewarding to see our collective efforts poised to move forward.”

The development team originally proposed the Center City District in February 2017. The $132 million project, which will create 57 full-time jobs and 400-500 prevailing wage construction jobs, is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019.

“There have been a lot of passionate, dedicated individuals involved in crafting this project at every turn, and it feels good to be moving another step closer to putting shovels in the ground,” said Mark Bell, CEO of Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors. “We want to thank the Ballein Family, Mayor Meadows and the entire East Lansing community for displaying a shared commitment to community-oriented development throughout this process.”



Kristopher Johnson

Kristopher Johnson

Kristopher Johnson is a Communications Specialist at M3 Group who earned his bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University in 2015. While currently residing in Lansing, Kristopher will always be a native of Detroit. He enjoys volunteering, listening to others and musing over contrasting insights. He is also fond of writing, keeping up with politics and watching too many story-driven anime.

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