Planning Board Votes to Sell City Market

23 07 2008
Could the Lansing City Market be getting a new home?

Could the Lansing City Market be getting a new home?

I really think this could be a good thing.  I know there’s history in the current building, but anything to pump  some new life into the Market can’t hurt.  I’ve been there twice and both times was a little disappointed.

The Lansing Planning Board voted 6-0 Tuesday to support the $1.6 million sale of Lansing City Market to East Lansing developer Pat Gillespie.

“I support what the city is proposing to do with the sale of the property,” said Andrew Frederick, a Planning Board member. “I’m willing to trade off the history preservation for getting that (site) cleaned up.”

Gillespie wants the market property at Shiawassee and Cedar streets for Market Place, a $24 million to $30 million retail, office and residential development along the downtown riverfront.

With proceeds from the sale, Lansing officials have said the city would build a new $1.2 million to $1.7 million year-round, indoor-and-outdoor market on nearby park land it owns.

I know it’s hard for people who have lived here their whole lives to see how good things really are around them.  I’ve lived in a few different cities comparable to the size of Lansing and both had riverfronts.  Neither have utilized the riverfront as a park as well as the City of Lansing has.  Joliet built a riverboat casino which has done nothing but increase crime in the area.  Peoria built a concrete monstrosity that was supposed to be a commercial building, but out of six storefronts, only two survivied.   What I like about Lansing is you can spend a relaxing afternoon by going for a walk or having a picnic combined with a little shopping.  A new market plus some added commercial development would only enhance the area. 

The Lansing City Pulse, obviously disagress.

There were noticeably fewer people at Tuesday’s meetings than at previous ones — perhaps because it was a “special meeting” and not advertised, online for example, as much as the others — but during public comment all seven who spoke, except Gillespie, were either not in favor or skeptical of the proposal.

“I would like to see the city enhance the market as it is,” resident Kathie Kuhn said, “to put time and energy into what we have.”

In the end, the board thanked the public for the input — the most input it has had on any issue, Frederick said — and moved ahead with the recommendation.

Same event.  Different story.  Alternative newspapers often provide stories you never hear in the mainstream media, but at the same time, they forget they are journalist and throw opinions in.  I’m not saying the info presented isn’t important, but they way it’s written is pretty biased. 

The next step for the plan is a public hearing at the City Council on Aug. 4.  The public is invited to attend. If you have an opinon, that’s the time to do it.  I’ve been to hundreds of public hearings and usually they are one sided.  If you have an opinion for or against, show up.  Don’t assume that someone else will tell the board what you want them to hear.  Usually, the “for” group is poorly represented.

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