To better understand the issues at hand, a summary of constraints has been compiled the following information.
The land included in the former proposed project is a mix of publicly and privately-owned parcels. Similar to all privately-owned parcels, the City of East Lansing has certain zoning and related land use controls but does not otherwise directly control the private parcels. As a result, the RFQ/P can only be issued for the publicly-controlled parcels (PDF).
There is a significant financial matter that will need to factor into any development project. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has invested $5,600,000 in acquiring properties on Evergreen Avenue and will seek to recoup this investment through long-term project financing, property sale/lease, and/or other yet to be identified methods.
The previous project required about $1.6M worth of infrastructure upgrades, including storm and sanitary sewers, water and reconfigured streets. In addition, the project created additional parking demand that resulted in the inclusion of a publicly-owned parking garage. Any project will likely require similar infrastructure upgrades and, depending on size, may require a parking garage. The necessary infrastructure and parking will ultimately be determined by the uses and design of the project.
The current B-3 zoning along Grand River and Abbot can accommodate mixed-use urban development. However, the remainder of the zoning along Evergreen was structured to accommodate the previous project and will require some rezoning.
The houses owned by the Downtown Development Authority, a section of Evergreen Avenue and all of Valley Court Drive are included in the City’s Historic District. Any demolition and new construction will need to be approved by the Historic District Commission similar to the previous project.