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Posted on: November 25, 2019

Council to Consider Ballot Proposal for Potential Sale of City Land for MSUFCU Commercial Building

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EAST LANSING, Mich. — At its Dec. 3 meeting, East Lansing City Council will be considering a ballot proposal for the potential sale of City-owned land to Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) for construction of a five- to eight-story branch and innovation office space in downtown East Lansing.

The proposal, if approved by the MSUFCU Board of Directors and Council, would be placed on the March 10, 2020 Presidential Primary Election ballot and would ask voters if the City should be permitted to sell approximately 13,250 square feet of City-owned land at the northwest corner of the Albert-Abbot intersection for construction of the new MSUFCU commercial building. The commercial building would include a branch office on the ground level, a community gathering space for public events/activities and office space for various MSUFCU operations, including the expansion of the MSUFCU Innovation and Education Center’s professional internship program.

“We are pleased to be partnering with the City of East Lansing on a future project for a branch and innovation office space in downtown East Lansing,” said MSUFCU President/CEO April Clobes. “The Credit Union has maintained a branch office in downtown East Lansing for decades and we had always hoped to be able to increase our footprint in the core business district. Our project, if approved by our Board of Directors and the City of East Lansing voters, would begin construction in mid 2020. The building will also include a community gathering space. Thanks to the positive support of the community, the Credit Union continues to significantly grow members each year. Because of this ongoing growth, we will be utilizing the building for our growing workforce.”

“We’re extremely pleased that MSUFCU is looking to locate a dedicated office building in downtown East Lansing,” said East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas. “This proposed project would further diversify and increase the number of office users in our downtown, which is consistent with City Council’s policies and the City’s Master Plan.”

The Abbot/Albert Avenue Lot, also referred to as Lot #4 or the Dublin Square Lot, is currently located on the land and, with the planned alignment of Albert Avenue, additional land adjacent to the lot would be included as a part of the potential sale. A professional appraisal firm has provided an expert opinion on the value of the land and has appraised it at $810,000. This valuation would be used as the target purchase price.

Discussions with MSUFCU for this potential project were initiated by City staff as a part of targeted business recruitment to encourage the expansion of high-quality office use in the downtown. If Council approves the placement of the proposal on the ballot, voters will have the opportunity to consider and vote on the proposed land sale and project. If the land sale is authorized by voters, the project would still go through the normal, public approval process.

Founded in 1937, MSUFCU has grown to be one of the largest employers and the highest taxpayer in the City of East Lansing. The banking institution has made a significant investment in the community by establishing its headquarters campus in East Lansing’s Northern Tier.

The proposed ballot language will be on Council’s agenda for consideration at the Dec. 3 meeting. The agenda will be posted to the City’s public meeting portal this Wednesday, Nov. 27: https://cityofeastlansing.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingTypeList.aspx. The preliminary concept renderings can be viewed here.

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