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Fri January 22, 2010
Lansing City Council rejects latest N. Cap Ramp deal
By Rob South, WKAR News
LANSING, MI – The Lansing City Council has turned down a request by Mayor Virg Bernero to hold a public hearing on a proposal to sell the North Capitol Parking Ramp to Lansing Community College. This is the third time the mayor has brought council a plan to sell the ramp to the college.
The latest deal before the council would have sold the ramp to LCC for $2.8 million and leased office space back to the city for $6 a square foot. Ironically, the deal is nearly identical to one Bernero rejected last year, favoring instead a higher lease rate and lower price tag.
But the four councilmembers who voted against the public hearing Thursday seemed more concerned about a deal brought forward by developer Joel Ferguson. Ferguson is offering to buy the ramp for $100,000 more than LCC's latest offer. Bernero's chief of staff, Jerry Ambrose, says the mayor isn't interested in selling the ramp to a private developer, even though documents show Ferguson did negotiate a sales agreement with the city.
Ferguson says he could update and repair the ramp for less than the city or the college. He says his intention is to lease the space back to LCC for two years, before giving them an offer to buy the ramp from him.
The council has requested more details on both agreements before moving forward with either.