On Saturday, Oct. 7, construction crews began tearing down the former Citizens Bank building on Grand River and Abbot after many years of vacancy.
That should make Grand River Avenue look better by the end of the month. The decision to move forward was made by East Lansing City Council after Convexity Properties committed to continuing demolition of the properties at 100-140 W Grand River Ave. as originally planned.
Nick Simowski a 2014 graduate of Michigan State, said that it is great that something is finally being done about the buildings that he said, have been sitting empty for so long.
“I think it would be cool to see something put in there,” said Simowski “It has been abandoned for as long as I can remember and I would like to at least see something.”
The project that the East Lansing City Council had approved for the Park District area will not be moving forward because the current and former developers were unable to reach an agreement on the transfer of a Michigan Business Tax credit for this project.
Justin Dollar, a senior at Michigan State who spends a lot of time on Grand River, said it is a great idea for something to finally be done about the buildings.
“As long as those eyesores are gone,” said Dollar a Somerset, Michigan, native. “ It is a win for East Lansing.”
Convexity Properties, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the City of East Lansing were trying to resolve the issue, but were unsuccessful. The city expects developers to submit plans for a revised project in the coming months.
Josh Lange, a Boyne City native, said he hopes that once the demolition is done that the city developers could continue with something similar to what was planned for the site.
“I think a mixed-use development would be useful. On the ground level, perhaps there could be a retail store or food outlet. Above, possibly office space,” said Lange, who is studying marketing. “I think that this would be especially useful in terms of keeping young upwardly mobile graduates around East Lansing.”