East Lansing’s Director of Planning, Building & Development Tom Fehrenbach has announced his resignation from the City. Fehrenbach has also been serving as the city’s deputy city manager, second in command after City Manager George Lahanas.
The news came today in an internal announcement to city employees and was leaked to East Lansing Info this evening. According to the internal announcement, Fehrenbach is taking on the position of Director of Real Estate for the State of Michigan.
An ad for that position in Crain’s Detroit Business describes that state-level job as involving “management of roughly 400 commercial leases for state operations; leasing of state lands; disposal of surplus real estate property; property acquisitions, and comprehensive strategic real estate & occupancy planning.”
Fehrenbach’s departure adds to the turmoil in the City of East Lansing government. The city has been without a permanent finance director since Jill Feldpausch left in June 2022 to take a position with Michigan State University Federal Credit Union. The recent departure of Human Resources Director Shelli Neumann has also left that department without a permanent director. Ben Dawson has been appointed interim human resources director.
City Council is also currently without a full complement of five, for the third time in less than three years. Council is set to pick an appointee to fill its vacancy on Saturday.
In East Lansing, Fehrenbach oversaw the redevelopment of several major sites, including projects that led to construction of The Abbot apartments and The Graduate Hotel, as well as the MSUFCU office building downtown. His department encompasses five city units including Building & Permits, Community & Economic Development, Parking, Planning & Zoning, and Rental Housing.
ELi has reached out to the city’s press relations department for confirmation of the contents of the communication shared with us but has not yet received a response.