I like that Mich was optimistic about this one all along. I was thinking "of course they did" after last week's news, and I am going to wait for the steel going up before I believe it!
After @ratchetwrench's comments I was pretty sure that the developer was at least waiting until after the election to say that the project was still on. But I guess they want their crews out there this week rather than next week.
I was a bit surprised by the news. Makes me wonder if there is some horse trading going on behind closed doors. Or, maybe the city is afraid the income tax will fail, and that they'll be in a worse bargaining position after the election. So much drama for such small town politics!
Worth noting that the talk is now about a "performance guarantee" and not a "performance bond". The guarantee will be guaranteed by the developer, not an outside insurer like with the bond. I believe this is the major change that is allowing the project to move forward.
Ahhhh... good catch there Jarad. I guess I'm still not clear exactly how this was possible. As I understood, the original agreement between the city and the developer stipulated performance bonds, a legal sticking point which Beier was using to try to kill the deal. The most recent ELi article makes it sound like the Mayor, DDA, BRDA, and city admins cut the city council out of the loop to close the deal:
"the developer indicated earlier today that it is satisfied that it can provide required performance guarantees and it has signed the Development Agreement. On that basis, myself, the Downtown Development Authority and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Chair Peter Dewan and various City staff have also signed the Development Agreement"
I guess this was OK, because the city council approved the MDA in June???
"But on Wednesday of this week, Mayor Mark Meadows told ELi that, while it was true that Council had approved the Master Development Agreement with the developers on June 20, he had not yet signed it and would not “until all of its components are complete.” He added, “it is not operational at this time.”"
Thanks for noting that, Jared. I read the article saying that the project was "back on" but still pending the performance (...in this case guarantee). I was wondering how this was really any different than what we had before.
Thanks for the link, ratchetwrench, you beat me to it.
lsj.com says they are closing the parking lot Monday and demolition will begin soon after that. It isn't Monday yet, but it looks like this is going to happen. The developer spoke very well of the E.L. government!
Yep. Looks like it is on.... at least for demo. Traffic through downtown EL has been miserable due to street closures with both big demolition projects underway.
I was surprised to see that the demo crews have started knocking down the buildings that front Grand River recently. I thought they only had the financial guarantee and go ahead from the city to tear up the parking lot...
The buildings facing Grand River are owned by the developers local partner on the project so the city doesn't have much say as what gets done with them. I'm not sure that they got the financial guarantee for the parking lot either. East Lansing Info has had some (somewhat alarmist) stories on it that I haven't really read through.
As of yesterday most, if not all the buildings are gone.