City Market Plans Need More Work

15 08 2008

The City held a work session with developer Pat Gillespie yesterday trying to come to a consensus on a new City Market.  The State-Journal  has the recap.

Gillespie hopes ultimately to get the six votes he needs to replace the old market building at Cedar and Shiawassee streets with Market Place, a $24 million to $30 million retail, office and residential development on the downtown riverfront.

“It’s a work in progress,” (Councilman Eric) Hewitt said of the agreement. “I’m very encouraged by the fact that Pat Gillespie has been willing to sit down, listen to our comments and include them in the buy/sell agreement.”

Council members unanimously agreed Thursday to vote on the sale at Monday’s full session. Yet they’ve stated lingering concerns about the agreement’s language regarding incentives, a clean-up loan and Gillespie’s commitment to hiring local labor.

Local labor?  Fine.  If they bid competitively then give them the job, but you can’t just give people work because of where they live.  For example, I live five miles from Spartan Stadium.  I do freelance work for the Big Ten Network.  MSU has a home game on Sept. 6 that will air on BTN.  I’m driving 340 miles one way to Champaign to work for the same network instead of working the MSU game.  In my case, it’s not price because I’m probably cheaper than some guys who work here, but it has more to do with seniority.  I would love to be able to stay here and work instead of going to Illinois, but it’s not going to happen, so I go where the work is.  It happens…it’s part of life and it shouldn’t hold up the City Market.  Something needs to be done to revitalize the property.  As I’ve said many times, I’m a recent transplant to Lansing.  I was really looking forward to the City Market.  When we got here, I’ve been nothing but disappointed.  I would rather go to some of the once a week farmer’s markets and do most of my shopping at Horrocks.  Something needs to be done.  The historic building isn’t enough.  Sometimes, you have to start over to make progress.  Take a lot of pictures and save signs.  That’s what museums are for.




One response

16 08 2008

Should make for an interesting City Council meeting Monday night! It would be perfect if Christine Timmons would wear her Carmen Miranda-esque head gear…

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