Mount Pleasant City Commission approved a purchase to develop land downtown

The land, located downtown, will house apartments and one retail unit.

Mount. Pleasant Mayor Allison Quast-Lents sits and listens to a presentation given by the airport manager on Aug. 27 at City Hall.

Aiming to revitalize downtown and address the city's affordable housing issue, Mount Pleasant City Commission approved the development of a new building, fitted with retail space and apartments, at its Sept. 10 meeting. 

The city has been waiting 13 years for the right developmental proposal for Parcel B — a plot of land adjacent to and west of Mount Pleasant City Hall. The plot of land housed Mount Pleasant’s former city hall until the city decided to use and renovate the historic Borden Building.

Eric Hannah, CEO of Michigan Community Capital (MCC), said the company plans to develop a 35,000 to 37,000 square foot building. Approximately 10,000 square feet will be dedicated to a retail bay housing a single retail tenant — possibly GreenTree Grocery Cooperative —on the ground floor and 30 to 40 apartments on the ascending floors.

MCC does not plan on having a lower level parking deck. Tenants would be expected to use municipal parking or the Borden Building, the historic building that contains city hall. 

Hannah said the mixture of high-quality studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments will be priced for middle-class tenants who don't qualify for housing support. 

MCC will pay $360,000 the plot of land. The taxable value of the space will be $2.5 million to $3.5 million, about half the cost of development which is $5 million to $7 million.

Commissioner Lori Gillis was the only member of the commission to disprove of the proposed agreement.

“We should not be subsidizing the development of Parcel B with taxpayer money. Taxpayers have paid enough for Parcel B and the Borden Building since 2005,” Gillis said.  

Gillis went on to say she would feel much more comfortable if the taxpayers could decide on whether to approve the agreement.

Commissioner Kathleen Ling supported the agreement and believed the development will help the city and taxpayers.

Through the sale of the property and the construction of the building, the city is completing a project consistent with what was presented to taxpayers in 2005. Also, Parcel B’s development revitalizes downtown Mount Pleasant and meets a housing and retail need, Ling said.

The commission approved the proposed agreement with a six to one vote.

MCC has a 60 day period to do due diligence on the agreement. A $25,000 down payment will be made for the land.