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Masonic Temple converted or new RFP? The future of Lansing’s new city hall still undecided

Posted at 8:38 PM, Mar 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-27 20:38:31-04

LANSING, Mich. — Just when you think the back and forth involving Lansing's new city hall is over allegations of unfairness, rise to the surface, fueling up the controversy.

“This whole thing is something I have never seen,” said Gary Granger. “Such poor judgment.”

Granger’s business, the Granger Group, was 1 of 2 businesses to submit proposals for a new city hall.

Granger’s proposal was for a brand new 80,000 square foot building, that would cost around $40 million.

After reviewing the proposals, Mayor Andy Schor and his team picked the Boji Group to use $40 million, the city secured from the state, to convert the Masonic Temple in downtown into the new city hall.

Boji Group gave us a tour of that building on Wednesday.

“We think that it’s a really good idea to use a historical building to re-purpose as a municipal building,” said Boji President John Hindo.

But in a letter sent to Schor, Granger called the process unfair and accused Schor and his administration of working closely with the Boji group to help them develop their proposal.

We reached out to Schor who provided us with statement saying in part “We hope the Grangers can move on and do work elsewhere in the city, like on their property downtown. This is sour grapes and they need to get over it. Attempting to sabotage the winning proposal at the last minute is not productive for anyone. Maybe that works in Grand Rapids, but it doesn't work in Lansing.”

In the past, Schor has been vocal about concerns regarding Granger's proposal for the new city hall, including Granger's plans to build on the Walter teller site, which has been vacant for years and could possibly be contaminated.

Going back to Boji's proposal to convert Masonic Temple, city council rejected it earlier this month and now with recent controversy - some council members like Ryan Kost are calling for the process to be redone.

“What the hell is the harm in putting out a new RFP to make sure we get it right,” Kost said.

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Tianna Jenkins

12:23 PM, Jan 12, 2021

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Tianna Jenkins

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