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Abandoned State Warehouse Could Get New Lease on Life

Abandoned State Warehouse Could Get New Lease on Life

LANSING, Mich. – Mayor Virg Bernero, project developers and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) today announced that a long vacant, multi-story building on the city’s Eastside is set to be rehabilitated and repurposed for commercial use. The former State of Michigan Liquor Control Commission building, located on Hosmer Street south of Kalamazoo Street, could soon receive new life and love in the form of $2.9 million in new private investment from Macritchie Storage, LLC.

“Once again we have a great opportunity to transform an abandoned, dilapidated building into a viable commercial facility,” said Mayor Virg Bernero.  “This is yet another example of the power of economic incentives to take dead buildings that no one will redevelop due to the extraordinary costs and put that property back into productive use. Rehabbing old buildings reduces blight in our neighborhoods, puts people to work, creates new business opportunities for local contractors and suppliers during the renovations, and adds to our city’s tax base, all at zero cost to Lansing taxpayers. Thanks and kudos to Macritchie Storage, LLC for believing in Lansing and investing in Lansing,” Bernero said.

Macritchie Storage, LLC plans to purchase the 79,000 sq/ft building and convert it into a 678-unit, climate-controlled self storage facility by rehabilitating the existing building, including structural repairs, restoration of the facade, and roof improvements. Additionally, the project will include new landscaping and streetscape enhancements along Hosmer Street. Total project cost is estimated to be $2.9 million and will create an unspecified number of construction jobs during the renovation as well as two to three new permanent jobs.

“The building has been neglected for a very long time and the beautiful brick and other features are beginning to structurally deteriorate. This project will preserve the features of the building and maybe someday, when market forces are stronger, it could morph into a mixed-use building. This project will be a bridge to the future for the building and the surrounding area,” said Karl Dorshimer, director of business development at LEAP.

The owner of the building, the Sam Eyde Company, brought the project and developer to the table and requested an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA) economic incentive, which helps to offset some of the extraordinary costs involved in rehabilitating the building.  The OPRA incentive reduces property taxes on the building for a period of 12 years.  During that time, the city will receive nearly $80,000 in property taxes, as well as income taxes from two to three new jobs. The developers agree to invest $2.9 million in the project and to reinvest their city tax savings of $157,000 over 12 years in cleaning up the property and repairing the old building. After the OPRA expires, Macritchie will pay the full tax rate for the life of the building.

The proposed project follows a new, cutting-edge national trend in urban development that identifies difficult, empty buildings, then turns the building into a secure storage facility while improving upon and preserving much of the external beauty and historic look of the building. Macritchie Storage, LLC owns and operates facilities throughout the United States, including in Chicago, IL, Cincinnati, OH, Rochester, NY, Phoenix, AZ and Tucson, AZ.

“As a company, we have looked at multiple sites across many states in America, searching for the perfect building and a local economy that shows the right demographics for us as well as very strong economic growth numbers,” said Will Matthews, principal of Macritchie Storage, LLC. “The City of Lansing and this building on Hosmer Street are a top location for us. We’re excited to take on this difficult rehabilitation project. We will improve and repair the building and return it to service for the benefit of our Eastside neighbors.”

The OPRA will be submitted for Lansing City Council consideration on December 12, 2016. If the OPRA and project plans are approved, construction can begin in the Spring of 2017 with an anticipated completion date of December 2017.

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About LEAP

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all—working every day to grow, retain and attract business.