DDA

DDA Approves Setting Aside Funds for a Director
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DDA Approves Setting Aside Funds for a Director

The decision to allot $250,000 to hire a director in 2025 followed two strategic planning sessions. Details for the position still need to be ironed out.

What Does ELi See Ahead in 2024?

What Does ELi See Ahead in 2024?

Here are the stories on the reporting and editorial team’s radar in the new year.

MSU Students Pitch Proposals for Evergreen Property
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MSU Students Pitch Proposals for Evergreen Property

DDA members and city officials listened to development presentations by urban planning students for the downtown site.

ELPD Officer Tells DDA of Downtown Public Safety Concerns
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ELPD Officer Tells DDA of Downtown Public Safety Concerns

Officer Katey Harrison identified parking garages as hotspots for nighttime activity as well as the Fieldhouse and Harper’s.

How Hard Is It to Park in Downtown East Lansing? Depends Who You Ask
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How Hard Is It to Park in Downtown East Lansing? Depends Who You Ask

There’s no topic quite so contentious as parking downtown, as became evident at Thursday’s DDA meeting.

River Caddis Loses Exclusive Development Agreement; DDA Will Seek New Proposals for Evergreen Properties
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River Caddis Loses Exclusive Development Agreement; DDA Will Seek New Proposals for Evergreen Properties

It’s over.

Big DDA and Council Meetings Set to Happen Tuesday
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Big DDA and Council Meetings Set to Happen Tuesday

ELi catches you up on big business in the city coming this Tuesday.

Development Agreement with PK Tabled, Mash Bar Approved at June 20 Council
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Development Agreement with PK Tabled, Mash Bar Approved at June 20 Council

Council discussed new strategies for the future when making deals with large developers.

Mayor Signed Letter to Support Low-Income Project on Bailey Lot; Developer Answers Questions
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Mayor Signed Letter to Support Low-Income Project on Bailey Lot; Developer Answers Questions

A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request turns up a surprising letter, and the vice president for developer ACD explains how a project would restrict who can rent there.

Three Years In, Developer Says the Only Thing That’ll Work on the Evergreen Properties Is…Student Housing
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Three Years In, Developer Says the Only Thing That’ll Work on the Evergreen Properties Is…Student Housing

River Caddis Development’s exclusive deal is facing expiration on July 17; the DDA will ponder the new “collaborative approach” for the next 30 days.

Developer Wants to Build Affordable Workforce Housing on Bailey Parking Lot

Developer Wants to Build Affordable Workforce Housing on Bailey Parking Lot

The proposal had its first public airing at East Lansing’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) meeting today. ELi brings you the details.

It’s ‘Business as Usual’ For Annual East Lansing Art Festival

It’s ‘Business as Usual’ For Annual East Lansing Art Festival

In its 60th year, the festival will again fill Albert Avenue with a wide variety of art, music, food and activities.

Time For Some Fresh Air Albert EL Fresco Style

Time For Some Fresh Air Albert EL Fresco Style

For the fourth year, a portion of Albert Avenue will be set up as an outdoor social space for young and old.

Jolly Pumpkin’s Offerings Could Be Expanded Downtown with Addition of Mash Bar
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Jolly Pumpkin’s Offerings Could Be Expanded Downtown with Addition of Mash Bar

“There are some amazing college bars here,” the applicant representing Mash told the DDA, “and that’s not really our niche.”

Jarred by Surprise Plan to Reshape the City, DDA Moves to Get Its Own Director
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Jarred by Surprise Plan to Reshape the City, DDA Moves to Get Its Own Director

The conversation was tense as Interim City Manager Randy Talifarro spoke to the eight-page draft reorganization plan that’s been rattling East Lansing’s government.

To Avoid a ‘Catastrophic Situation,’ East Lansing Refinances the DDA’s Debt (Again)
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To Avoid a ‘Catastrophic Situation,’ East Lansing Refinances the DDA’s Debt (Again)

Why was “catastrophe” looming? ELi explains and tells you what happened with the latest refinance of the Evergreen Properties debt.

DDA Grants River Caddis Another Six-Month Exclusive Deal on Evergreen Properties
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DDA Grants River Caddis Another Six-Month Exclusive Deal on Evergreen Properties

The vote came down 7-2-1 and puts a hard stop on the extensions in July 2023. ELi’s Lucas Day reports.

Will the DDA’s Favored Developer Be Granted a New Exclusive Deal?
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Will the DDA’s Favored Developer Be Granted a New Exclusive Deal?

What the DDA decides this Thursday could determine not just whether River Caddis Development obtains a special deal that will exclude other developers, but also what gets built next downtown and how much longer the DDA will prolong its bond debt. ELi catches you up.

Three Council Members Question DDA’s Finances as Bond Refinance Is Authorized
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Three Council Members Question DDA’s Finances as Bond Refinance Is Authorized

Before the bond refinance passed 3-1, Council members raised questions about why the DDA debt is barely paid off after 13 years, which taxes are being diverted to the DDA, and more.

Three New Buildings Will Mean $1 Million More in Taxes Diverted to the DDA. What Is Going On?
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Three New Buildings Will Mean $1 Million More in Taxes Diverted to the DDA. What Is Going On?

ELi brings you a special “follow the money” report. Find out how captured taxes are and aren’t being used in East Lansing today and how East Lansing homeowners are carrying the burden of public services for big new buildings downtown.

The DDA Gives Up on The CITADEL™. What’s Next?
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The DDA Gives Up on The CITADEL™. What’s Next?

Another failed proposal for the Evergreen Properties, land the DDA purchased almost 15 years ago using public bonds. Those bonds will be refinanced again.

Vlahakis Proposes 12 Stories of Student Housing at Dublin Square (Plus More)
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Vlahakis Proposes 12 Stories of Student Housing at Dublin Square (Plus More)

The proposal, if successful, would bring a lot more student housing plus another new parking garage to downtown East Lansing.

With Downtown Violence Increasing, What Is East Lansing Doing?
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With Downtown Violence Increasing, What Is East Lansing Doing?

“We are going to do whatever we can to try to curb this issue,” said East Lansing Police Captain Chad Pride.

East Lansing Insider: What To Know With The Albert EL Fresco Returning
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East Lansing Insider: What To Know With The Albert EL Fresco Returning

Andrew Graham sits down with Emily Joan Elliott to talk about the imminent return of the Albert EL Fresco. Give a listen!

About A Month From Opening, Key Parts Of The Albert EL Fresco Are Still In Flux
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About A Month From Opening, Key Parts Of The Albert EL Fresco Are Still In Flux

The Albert EL Fresco is set to reopen later this spring, but the City is still looking for someone to provide outdoor seating, shade, and lighting infrastructure for the space. Andrew Graham reports.

What Artspace’s Feasibility Report Tells Us About Downtown East Lansing
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What Artspace’s Feasibility Report Tells Us About Downtown East Lansing

One of the proposed locations for a development of affordable housing geared toward creatives is Valley Court Park. Emily Joan Elliott digs in to what else is in the feasibility report and what we can learn.

DDA Approves Around $150K For EL Fresco, Nixes Lease With Tenants In Bat-Infested Property
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DDA Approves Around $150K For EL Fresco, Nixes Lease With Tenants In Bat-Infested Property

The DDA approved a budget amendment to support the Albert EL Fresco, but some DDA members had questions about the large figure. Andrew Graham reports on that and the bat infestation at a DDA-owned property.

Albert El Fresco is Coming Back to Downtown East Lansing, Despite Brookover’s Concerns
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Albert El Fresco is Coming Back to Downtown East Lansing, Despite Brookover’s Concerns

The official dates for EL Fresco have not be set, but Council voted to approve the closure of two lanes on Albert Street from Apr. 27 to Sept. 11, despite Council member Brookover voicing concerns about the project benefiting some local businesses and not others, among other things.

What’s Happening Now with Downtown East Lansing Development?
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What’s Happening Now with Downtown East Lansing Development?

Catch up with ELi on the latest in downtown East Lansing redevelopment, including potentially in Valley Court Park.

East Lansing Government Won’t Say Who Keeps Canceling All These Public Meetings
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East Lansing Government Won’t Say Who Keeps Canceling All These Public Meetings

While other local municipalities continue with business as normal, East Lansing’s own government is nearly halted, supposedly over Covid concerns. But who made that decision? ELi’s Alice Dreger reports that we don’t know, still.

East Lansing Government Won’t Say Who Keeps Canceling All These Public Meetings
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East Lansing Government Won’t Say Who Keeps Canceling All These Public Meetings

While other local municipalities continue with business as normal, East Lansing’s own government is nearly halted, supposedly over Covid concerns. But who made that decision? ELi’s Alice Dreger reports that we don’t know, still.

Seeking Support on Evergreen Redevelopment Concept, Developer Instead Gets an Argument at Council
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Seeking Support on Evergreen Redevelopment Concept, Developer Instead Gets an Argument at Council

As the debate heated up, Jessy Gregg called George Brookover and Lisa Babcock “a bummer,” suggesting they don’t believe in East Lansing’s economic recovery. Andrew Graham reports for ELi.

Yet-To-Be-Installed Security Cameras Provide a Glimpse into East Lansing’s Politics and Policy
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Yet-To-Be-Installed Security Cameras Provide a Glimpse into East Lansing’s Politics and Policy

The DDA recently approved spending up to $40,000 of public money to install security cameras downtown. But even before installation, these cameras offer a look into the current state of East Lansing politics and policy on a number of issues. Alice Dreger reports.

DDA Votes to Evict the Bats and Stay the Course on Office Dream for Evergreen Properties
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DDA Votes to Evict the Bats and Stay the Course on Office Dream for Evergreen Properties

Yet again, the publicly-owned Evergreen Properties and their possible redevelopment formed the main topic of discussion at the latest meeting of East Lansing’s Downtown Development Authority. What happened? Only ELi brings this news.

The City of East Lansing Keeps Withholding Public Information: When Will Things Change?

The City of East Lansing Keeps Withholding Public Information: When Will Things Change?

ELi faces a persistent lack of transparency and thus an unnecessary uphill climb in our efforts to report on what your local government is doing — including with your money. ELi City Desk reporter Andrew Graham brings the story.

DDA Approves More Surveillance Downtown, While Chair Cautions Against ‘Big Brother Culture’
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DDA Approves More Surveillance Downtown, While Chair Cautions Against ‘Big Brother Culture’

The DDA voted in favor of funding more cameras to be used by ELPD, but not before a lively discussion about privacy and how to welcome people downtown.

The Latest in Big East Lansing Redevelopment
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The Latest in Big East Lansing Redevelopment

What’s happening with that public land sold on eBay? Where might we see commercial redevelopment replace houses on Lake Lansing Road? And what’s happening downtown and north on Abbot Road?

Mayor Gregg Implores “Don’t Be An Idiot,” as Sparrow ER Is Already Packed
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Mayor Gregg Implores “Don’t Be An Idiot,” as Sparrow ER Is Already Packed

Local officials fear that big parties related to football and Halloween will add additional stress to an already strained hospital system. Alice Dreger reports.

East Lansing Insider: East Lansing’s Evergreen Development Problem
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East Lansing Insider: East Lansing’s Evergreen Development Problem

The Downtown Development Authority purchased the properties in 2009, hoping to sell them for downtown development projects, but over a decade later, the DDA still owns the properties. Alice Dreger shares the long history with Emily Joan Elliott.

What’s Going On with Big Redevelopment Downtown?
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What’s Going On with Big Redevelopment Downtown?

ELi catches you up on what’s happening (and not happening) in downtown East Lansing’s real estate redevelopment scene. Check it out!

Now’s Your Chance to Give Input on Affordable Housing for “Creatives” in EL
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Now’s Your Chance to Give Input on Affordable Housing for “Creatives” in EL

The nonprofit consultant hired to articulate the potential for constructing affordable live-work space for artists in East Lansing is coming to town next week, and now is your chance to have your ideas heard.

Taxes Diverted in Hopes of Greater Economic Development in EL’s Downtown
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Taxes Diverted in Hopes of Greater Economic Development in EL’s Downtown

Over a half-million dollars in local taxes will be directed towards hiring economic development specialists to focus on East Lansing, if all goes as planned. Andrew Graham reports from the latest meeting of the East Lansing DDA.

MSU Students Targeted in City’s Welcome-Back Marketing
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MSU Students Targeted in City’s Welcome-Back Marketing

On Monday night (Aug. 30), East Lansing’s downtown will transform into a “Moonlight ExtravaGRANDza” with music, games, and deals directed at MSU students. What’s up?

River Caddis Gets 180-Day Extension As DDA Meets Following Jim Croom’s Resignation
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River Caddis Gets 180-Day Extension As DDA Meets Following Jim Croom’s Resignation

The DDA now has a new slate of officers: Chair Mike Krueger, Vice Chair Luke Hackney, and Treasurer Kristin Clark. Andrew Graham reports on that and more.

Has EL’s Tree Canopy Shrunk? We Might Find Out This Year
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Has EL’s Tree Canopy Shrunk? We Might Find Out This Year

“Tree planting in East Lansing is not keeping up with the tree cutting,” wrote one ELi reader. Is that true? Brooklyn Peppo reports for ELi.

The DDA’s Evergreen Properties: River Caddis Still Wants An Exclusive, But Now Artspace Is In the Mix
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The DDA’s Evergreen Properties: River Caddis Still Wants An Exclusive, But Now Artspace Is In the Mix

River Caddis Development has had an exclusive agreement on the DDA’s Evergreen Properties for 15 months, with no significant movement forward. They want more time. But another potential developer is now on the scene.

Construction Will Start Soon on MSUFCU’s Downtown Office Building

Construction Will Start Soon on MSUFCU’s Downtown Office Building

In her remarks about the project, April Clobes, the head of MSUFCU, made a subtle reference to ELi’s reporting on why the project’s start had been delayed. Find out what she and others said and learn the project’s timeline from ELi.

East Lansing City Council Will Tackle Action-Packed Agenda This Week
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East Lansing City Council Will Tackle Action-Packed Agenda This Week

Big policing issues, parking for the Graduate Hotel, lawsuits involving the City of East Lansing, a new outdoor design for Harper’s – all this and MUCH more coming to Council this week. ELi tells you what’s on the agenda…and what’s missing.

The Latest Scoop on Downtown East Lansing Development and Happenings
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The Latest Scoop on Downtown East Lansing Development and Happenings

We have NEWS on the Graduate Hotel’s rooftop bar, the MSUFCU downtown office building plans, entertainment activities downtown (including for kids), and food trucks. Read all about it, only at ELi.

East Lansing Looking Towards a New “Green Building” Policy
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East Lansing Looking Towards a New “Green Building” Policy

The Commission on the Environment will meet this evening to discuss revisions to the City’s Green Building Policy and concerns expressed by some DDA members, particularly regarding tax incentives, cost, and economic impact. Brooklyn Peppo reports for ELi.

Close Part of Albert Ave. Again? The Debate Continues.
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Close Part of Albert Ave. Again? The Debate Continues.

Ali Haider, the owner of East Lansing’s downtown 7-Eleven store, explains what his business has gone through with all of the street closures. Plus, two residents of Newman Lofts weigh in.

Close a Lane for Only Three Restaurants? Other Biz Owners Say “No, Thanks.”
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Close a Lane for Only Three Restaurants? Other Biz Owners Say “No, Thanks.”

An idea being floated would close a lane to benefit the three restaurants of the Center City District project. Why are long-time downtown restaurant owners against this latest placemaking idea?

Public Land Finally Sells to MSUFCU; Buildings to Be Demolished
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Public Land Finally Sells to MSUFCU; Buildings to Be Demolished

Which publicly-owned buildings will be demolished to create a construction staging area for the credit union’s new downtown office building? And what’s the anticipated construction timeline?

DDA Votes 9-2 to Demolish Publicly-Owned Buildings to Help MSUFCU Project
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DDA Votes 9-2 to Demolish Publicly-Owned Buildings to Help MSUFCU Project

The debate was intense, with many questions raised. And after the vote, Paul Vlahakis showed up and threw doubt on whether this deal will really solve the issues. ELi tells you who voted what way, and why.

DDA May Demolish Publicly-Owned Buildings to Help MSUFCU Construct Offices
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DDA May Demolish Publicly-Owned Buildings to Help MSUFCU Construct Offices

Why do City staff and the head of MSUFCU think this is a good plan? And what don’t we know? ELi’s Alice Dreger reports.

The Latest on Redevelopment Projects in East Lansing

The Latest on Redevelopment Projects in East Lansing

Affordable housing for artists, the latest on the eBay-auctioned land, Dunkin Donuts’ and Walgreens’ openings, and lots more news in ELi’s latest East Lansing redevelopment update.

Evergreen Properties Talks Extended, as Developer Reveals Anchor Tenant Backed Out
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Evergreen Properties Talks Extended, as Developer Reveals Anchor Tenant Backed Out

The anchor tenant backed out. The developers want MSU as a partner. And it’s City staff, not the developers, that’s been holding up the sale agreement. Here’s what we learned at today’s DDA meeting, where the vote went 8-2 to extend the exclusive talks another 6 months.

Rundown of Meetings from This Past Week
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Rundown of Meetings from This Past Week

The City and school district held several important meetings this week. The ELi team brings you the updates.

City Leaders Less Than Thrilled with Redevelopment Deal’s Progress
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City Leaders Less Than Thrilled with Redevelopment Deal’s Progress

ELi’s Alice Dreger brings you the latest in the redevelopment deal on the DDA’s debt-ridden Evergreen properties. What’s up with “The CITADEL” now?

What Will Be the Big East Lansing Stories of 2021?
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What Will Be the Big East Lansing Stories of 2021?

Our staff compiles the top stories we expect to cover in 2021. But we can never know all that will happen — like, a pandemic — and that’s why we need your financial support.

A Lot of East Lansing City News You Might Want to Know
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A Lot of East Lansing City News You Might Want to Know

Quick hits on the various stories Alice Dreger has been keeping tabs on, from the Center City District bonds to a mysterious public hearing. Read on.

School Board to Vote on Reopening Plan, and Council on Corporate Tax Exemptions
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School Board to Vote on Reopening Plan, and Council on Corporate Tax Exemptions

Along with School Board and City Council, there are meetings of Planning Commission, Arts Commission, Downtown Development Authority and Police Study Committee. Andrew Graham unpacks it.

Big Infrastructure Project Will Change Park District Area – and Peoples Church Isn’t Pleased
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Big Infrastructure Project Will Change Park District Area – and Peoples Church Isn’t Pleased

A long-planned project will improve sewer infrastructure and change the amount of parking in the area, leaving some displeased. Alice Dreger reports.

UPDATE: Wrench Thrown Into MSUFCU’s Downtown Office Building Plan

UPDATE: Wrench Thrown Into MSUFCU’s Downtown Office Building Plan

The Dublin Square property owners are warning MSUFCU to stay off their property during construction that involves building all the way to the property line. What could this mean for the future of the proposed office building?

Council Asked to Consider Tax Exemption for TechSmith
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Council Asked to Consider Tax Exemption for TechSmith

TechSmith is considering building its new headquarters at Spartan Village and is calling on Council for a personal property tax exemption. Alice Dreger explains what this means.

UPDATE: DDA Follows Council’s OK for 95-Day Extension of Exclusive Redevelopment Contract
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UPDATE: DDA Follows Council’s OK for 95-Day Extension of Exclusive Redevelopment Contract

What’s going on with the Evergreen Ave. properties? ELi’s Alice Dreger brings you an update.

What Happened at City Council Last Night?
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What Happened at City Council Last Night?

Alice Dreger takes you through the news and notes from a (very) brief City Council meeting on Tuesday night.

What’s on the Agenda In East Lansing Next Week?
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What’s on the Agenda In East Lansing Next Week?

Several bodies, including City Council, the Downtown Development Authority, and the Commission on the Environment, meet next week. Andrew Graham takes you through the agendas.

Explore Vacant Commercial Properties in Downtown East Lansing
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Explore Vacant Commercial Properties in Downtown East Lansing

Check out our interactive map of downtown commercial properties in downtown East Lansing, and read our analysis of the information provided by City staff.

Council Recap: City Attorney Says Tuesday’s Meeting is Fine
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Council Recap: City Attorney Says Tuesday’s Meeting is Fine

City Attorney Mike Homier explained that Tuesday’s meeting could proceed despite recent actions by the State Supreme Court. See what he said and what Council did on Tuesday.

Big Week of Meetings Coming for East Lansing
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Big Week of Meetings Coming for East Lansing

ELi’s Alice Dreger gives you a fast rundown of what’s coming in public meetings in East Lansing this week. Check it out.

Big Governmental Decisions Coming in East Lansing
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Big Governmental Decisions Coming in East Lansing

Contract through 2024 for the City Manager? Pave over more of Sharp Park for bike parking? Reduce car lanes further on Abbot? ELi’s Alice Dreger tells you what’s up this week and how you can weigh in.

Developer Wants 450 Days More for Evergreen Properties Talks . . . And Wants TIF
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Developer Wants 450 Days More for Evergreen Properties Talks . . . And Wants TIF

River Caddis Development has put together a draft agreement that would shift yet more of The CITADEL project costs onto the public ledger. For now, East Lansing’s DDA has agreed to more talks.

East Lansing Seeks Lawyers, and More Lawyers, and a Financial Advisor

East Lansing Seeks Lawyers, and More Lawyers, and a Financial Advisor

The City Council is seeking a new city attorney, and the DDA and BRA are looking for an attorney and a financial advisor. What’s up?

East Lansing May Consider Regulation of Grubhub, Uber Eats, Other Food Delivery Services
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East Lansing May Consider Regulation of Grubhub, Uber Eats, Other Food Delivery Services

Could municipal regulation of food delivery services help local restaurants survive?

East Lansing May Borrow $33 Million to Pay a $25 Million Debt. Who’s Getting that $8 Million?
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East Lansing May Borrow $33 Million to Pay a $25 Million Debt. Who’s Getting that $8 Million?

The Bell family of developers is back. What new Center City District public financing deal will be made with them this time? ELi’s Alice Dreger reports what we know.

East Lansing Development Updates (Spoiler Alert: The Abbot Opens Late August)
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East Lansing Development Updates (Spoiler Alert: The Abbot Opens Late August)

News on The Abbot, The Graduate, affordable housing, Coleman Road, the new elementary schools, MSUFCU’s downtown project, and marijuana sales locations. We also tell you where in East Lansing the state’s wetland protection agency plans a new office building that would disturb a wetland.

In Change of Plans, The CITADEL Project Makes the Parking the City’s Problem
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In Change of Plans, The CITADEL Project Makes the Parking the City’s Problem

Is big new office space viable? What tax incentives will the developers want? And what does the new “stakeholders” team think of it all?

East Lansing Real Estate Developer Scott Chappelle Indicted for Tax and Bank Fraud
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East Lansing Real Estate Developer Scott Chappelle Indicted for Tax and Bank Fraud

For years, citizen watchdogs warned the City of East Lansing not to continue partnering with Chappelle. If convicted on the bank fraud charge, he faces up to 30 years in prison.

Now a “Stakeholders Committee” Will Work with Developers on Evergreen Properties
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Now a “Stakeholders Committee” Will Work with Developers on Evergreen Properties

Who will work with the developers to try to hammer out a deal this time? And why did the vote split 5-4?

DDA Signs Exclusive Agreement with River Caddis on Evergreen Properties
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DDA Signs Exclusive Agreement with River Caddis on Evergreen Properties

The mayor doesn’t want to be led with an offer of an office building and told later the developers want to construct towering student housing.

City Staff Recommends Another Exclusive Development Agreement on the Evergreen Properties
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City Staff Recommends Another Exclusive Development Agreement on the Evergreen Properties

With the only active proposal for the DDA’s properties, River Caddis Development wants an exclusive agreement. But do they have a viable concept?

And Then There Was One: Convexity Withdraws Its Proposal for the Evergreen Properties

And Then There Was One: Convexity Withdraws Its Proposal for the Evergreen Properties

With one developer pulling out, leaving only one left, this isn’t what East Lansing’s DDA had in mind when it sent out a call to developers about the Evergreen properties.