Entirely East Lansing
It’s official. After voters rejected the vacant lot proposal, DTN has withdrawn its plans to rebuild downtown’s west corner. The move has been expected since the city was unable to gain authority to sell three acres of unused buildings and vacant lots.
While a tremendous amount of time and energy has been spent by the city, planning commissions and DTN on a project that will never materialized, Mayor Nathan Triplett said he was encouraged by the process.
“It was very beneficial for the community,” said Triplett. “We will start again and consider what the next steps are, I look forward to the process and the community’s continued involvement.”
It’s not clear what reservations citizens have with the proposal, but city officials say it shouldn’t be due to DTN’s preparation.
“DTN really did an exemplary job. They really put their best foot forward in running this process,” said City Manager George Lahanas. “We challenged them to run a robust citizen engagement process and they ran three well regarded meetings. They invested a lot of time and resources in this.”
While there is an apparent disappointment among city officials over the rejection of the proposal, Lahanas said the vote delivered a message.
“This gives us a good indication about legitimate competing interests about this project,” said Lahanas. “This is not something unique to East Lansing. This happens all over the country when you have development interests and interests of keeping the community to the character that people moved into. We will move forward.”