FRIDAY, Feb. 4 — Lansing Mayor Andy Schor reinitiates plans to relocate, remodel, or rebuild City Hall and find a new home for District Court 54A and the police department.
A extensive request for proposals released by Schor’s office yesterday afternoon is seeking to contract with a developer to “move” City Hall, courtrooms and police headquarters from the corner of Michigan and Capitol avenues to a “location consisting of one facility or complex or multiple properties”, either through renovations or new construction.
“A new City Hall that will better serve residents has been a major need in Lansing for many years,” Schor said in a statement. “I look forward to creative responses from those who want to transform these key properties in the city. It’s time we finally met that need, and bringing these projects to fruition will be great for Lansing residents and visitors alike.”
Development proposals are expected to “promote economic development” in the downtown core and “maximize opportunities for redevelopment” of the current City Hall building by putting it back on the tax rolls. Additionally, city officials want the new facility to result in lower annual occupancy costs.
The City Hall building, which was built in the late 1950s, regularly drains half a million dollars a year in maintenance costs and requires about $80 million to fully repair, officials said. city officials. Former mayor Virg Bernero launched plans in 2017 to turn the site over to a developer and move city offices to a new location. These plans, so far, have only stalled under Schor.
In 2018, Schor held back Bernero’s plan to turn City Hall into a restaurant and hotel until he could find a concrete location to relocate, shore up, or eliminate the district court and police who also share ownership. downtown area with city offices.
The biggest hurdle, at the time, was funding the plans, Schor explained last year.
“This plan did not address the courts and the camera. We searched and we couldn’t afford it,” Schor explained. “I would love to get out of confinement. We know there is a need for this, it’s just a matter of putting it all together and finding an entity, a master developer, who can help fund it.
In November 2020, Schor told City Pulse he was “actively exploring options” — including a unified facility with Ingham County that could see the city’s lockdown shut entirely. And last January, Schor issued a similar “request for qualifications and proposals” to come up with a new plan – which also solicited concept plans to move or rebuild the Lansing Center.
This year’s request is for City Hall, District Court 54A and the Police Department only. A spokesperson for Schor’s office said it would also allow for the ability to combine proposals, meaning multiple developers could work together to offload City Hall and build a new one.
“The city has learned a lot from our past experiences in finding solutions for new urban facilities,” Schor said in the statement. “We will learn from these lessons and seek new ideas to find solutions that work for the city government, our courts, the police and the taxpayers of Lansing.”
All proposals will be evaluated based on a variety of factors, in order of financial benefit to the city, economic impact to the downtown core, and developer experience. To make this work, the city is also willing to lease or sell the City Hall building, the parking ramp on South Capitol Avenue, and the parking lot at the corner of Lenawee Street and Grand Avenue.
Development proposals can be submitted until March 8 at 2 p.m. A “shortlist” of potential developers will be established by March 21. Interviews are scheduled for March 31. And if all goes according to plan, Schor hopes to decide on a relocation plan by April, city officials said.