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Lansing eyes redeveloping Red Cedar golf course
Melissa Domsic | Lansing State Journal
May 6, 2011
LANSING - Lansing's economic development officials want the Red Cedar Golf Course transformed into a mixed-use development with housing, restaurants and retailers surrounded by a natural recreation area.
On Monday, the Lansing City Council will get its first look at proposals that would ask voters for permission to sell a portion of the golf course along Michigan Avenue near the Frandor Shopping Center, as well as the Waverly Golf Course at Saginaw Street and Waverly Road and the adjacent Michigan Avenue Park at Michigan Avenue and Waverly Road.
Council members have until May 23 to make a decision in time to have the proposals placed on the Aug. 2 ballot.
LANSING -- "It's a plan to sort of turn lemons into lemonade."
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has a grand vision for the frandor area.
"Right now, you have a closed, empty [Red Cedar Park]," he told News 10 on Friday in an exclusive interview. "You have closed, empty establishments, old car dealerships -- not the most pleasing sight for somebody traveling from East Lansing here."
Bernero, Michigan State University, East Lansing officials and some business developers are planning a complete revitilization of the area, what the Mayor calls the gateway between Lansing and East Lansing.
"This Michigan Avenue corridor is one of the most underdeveloped corridors in the state, certainly in the region," Bernero said.
The plans, to be announced in detail Monday at an 11 a.m. press conference, are to sell off some parts of the old Red Cedar Golf Course for business development (he's expecting that to go up for a vote in the August primary) and leave the rest for green space.
The project would also revamp the retail area just north of Michigan Avenue, which is currently spotted with closed buildings.
And at the heart of the proposal is a new system of ponds to help filter dirty rain water that has been running for years directly into the Red Cedar River, bringing with it tons of pollutants.
"It's about being environmentally responsible," Bernero said. "Really doing a better job of managing the watershed, cleaning up our river."
The mayor, who hopes to finalize the plans within about a year, says much of the development would be paid for by private business and/or through federal and state grants.
"Especially in the midst of these hard times," he said, "We need to re-double our efforts to promote economic development and jobs."