The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is pleased to offer a significant development opportunity directly adjacent and proximate to exciting transformational redevelopments currently underway in downtown East Lansing, and across the street from Michigan State University. A Request for Qualifications/Proposals (RFQ/P) for the DDA-owned properties located at 314, 328, 334, 340 and 344 Evergreen Ave. has been developed and is available to developers. The DDA invites experienced developers to submit their qualifications and a conceptual proposal for the properties that are controlled by the DDA. The RFQ/P is currently available for questions and final qualifications and proposals are due by 10 a.m. (EST) on February 24, 2020.
The timeline for reviewing the qualifications and proposals will be determined based upon the number and quality of the proposals received. This will be the first step toward selecting a developer and a project, however, there will be multiple other steps, including additional public meetings, significant due diligence, design work, site plan review, etc., in advance of negotiating a development agreement.
All proposals will be reviewed based upon the criteria provided in the RFQ/P Document as Attachment 2, the scoring matrix. The proposed scoring is intended to assist the review committee in comparing and assessing the qualifications and proposals; however, the determination of the most qualified entity or most appropriate proposal may incorporate additional criteria or considerations.
The properties located at 314, 328, 334, 340 and 344 Evergreen Ave. are owned by the East Lansing DDA. The parcels equal approximately 1.08 acres. The City of East Lansing owns nearby Parking Lots 4 and 8, which could also be considered as part of this redevelopment project. The map identifies these properties.
The DDA has invested more than $5.5 million in property acquisition. A primary goal is to reduce/ refinance this debt as part of the financial structure of any redevelopment. Such a restructuring may occur via property sale, land lease, long-term debt issuance, or a combination of those or other approaches. The DDA would consider outright purchase offers not tied to a project.
As part of this project, area infrastructure upgrades, including storm and sanitary sewers, water and reconfigured streets, will be necessary. Respondents are encouraged to contact East Lansing Department of Public Works' Department of Engineering staff at (517) 337-9459 to ensure that their proposal includes a plan for all necessary infrastructure. The Oakhill Neighborhood Sewer Study can be found here.
Update Regarding Infrastructure in the Evergreen Area (12/19/19): On December 17, 2019, the East Lansing City Council approved a contract with Kebs Engineering to design the desired infrastructure updates for the area surrounding the Evergreen Avenue properties and adjacent neighborhoods. View a copy of the contract. The design is expected to be completed in early 2020. View a basic outline of the conceptual infrastructure updates. Staff continues to recommend that potential proposers reach out to the East Lansing Department of Public Works with questions regarding the desired utility improvements.
Parking and Traffic Management
Currently, public parking is provided in Parking Lot 4 and Parking Lot 8. These lots provide 125 spaces for downtown businesses and The Peoples Church. If these lots are part of the proposed site, it is expected that the construction of a parking facility will likely be needed to accommodate demand. A current traffic analysis will need to be completed for any proposed project.
Incentives and Financial Resources
The ideal project would be 100 percent privately financed and supported. However, recognizing the potential need for significant public infrastructure (e.g., parking, water/sewer upgrades, streetscape enhancements), the City of East Lansing recognizes that certain publicly supported tools and incentives may be needed. The City has a variety of incentives available for a project that demonstrates need and merit. The City Council’s TIF Policy and BRA Administrative Procedures can be found here.
The site is currently zoned RM-32 (Multi-family Residential). RM-32 allows for some commercial uses with a special use permit. The maximum building height in this zone is three stories or 40 feet. A rezoning has always been anticipated as part of a redevelopment and would likely be necessary in order to support the type of building that is expressed through the community’s desires. The Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map envisions this property as M-3, Mixed Use 3. The Comprehensive Plan is available here.
The houses owned by the DDA are in a historic district. Any demolition and new construction will need to be approved by the Historic District Commission. The Historic District Map is available here.
Pre-Proposal Conference on 12/16/19 at 10 a.m. EST
A Pre-Proposal Conference for prospective respondents will be held on Monday, Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. (EST), at East Lansing City Hall, 410 Abbot Road, Conference Room A. Participants may attend the meeting in person or by conference call. Participants should RSVP to Chad Shepard, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (517) 319-6907 to RSVP. Participants will be provided a phone number if they are participating by conference call.
Questions will be accepted up to 5 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, January 16, 2020. Answers to questions submitted will be provided on the project website as soon as they are available. Frequently asked questions can be found here.
RFQ/Ps are due by 10 a.m. (EST) on February 24, 2020. Qualifications and proposals, along with inquiries, should be directed to:
Thomas J. Fehrenbach
Director, Dept. of Planning, Building & Development
City of East Lansing
410 Abbot Rd.
East Lansing, MI 48823
(517) 319-6887 email@example.com