By: David Defever
LANSING – Lansing may use a state grant to buy an old factory to improve the river trail bridge along the Grand River.
The grant will pay for the land, closing costs and environmental studies, said Brett Kaschinske, Lansing’s director of Parks and Recreation Department.
“The grant is split 75/25, so the state of Michigan will pay for 75 percent of the project and the city would in turn pay for 25 percent,” he said.
The property at 830 River St. was the old S and S Die plant and has been on the market for more than two years. Owner Diana Hurst wants $30,000 for the 7,841 square foot parcel, said Kaschinske.
“The grant makes it harder to purchase contaminated property, or what might be contaminated,” said Patricia Spitzley, at-large parks and recreation. “Since it was an old die plant, there is a possibility the land is contaminated, and this is a concern.”
Contamination isn’t expected, but the city knows environmental assessments are in place, said Spitzley.
The city plans to rebuild the current river trail bridge that surrounds the property because it hangs over the Grand River and is a potential hazard. Future possibilities include demolishing the building and running the bridge directly through the property rather than around it.
We have an easement with the river trail bridge surrounding the property and at some point in the future this bridge is going to fail, Kaschinske said.
“Whether its 20 years down the road or 10 years, we know at some point this bridge will need to be replaced,” he said.
Additional funds will be needed because the grant doesn’t cover demolition costs, unless the city’s public service department handles the work itself.
“We would see significant savings from this some time in the future by not having to maintain or repair that bridge,” said Kaschinske.
No plans have been set to demolish the building right away, but Kaschinske said there were three options:
- Using it
- Renting it
- Demolishing it for green space
“I think we have a very good chance at getting this property,” said Kaschinske.