MERIDIAN TWP., Mich. — The Village of Okemos project could receive some financial assistance from Meridian Township to keep the development moving.
The Village of Okemos LLC requested $3.2 million in funding from the Meridian Township Economic Redevelopment Corporation for the project to move forward with construction.
“It's not for their building, it's not for their development, it's for the infrastructure surrounding it, which is water, sewer and streets, which eventually will have to be replaced anyway,” said Meridian Township manager Frank Walsh.
Walsh said the redevelopmement fund doesn't have the amount they're asking for.
“We have $2 million in a redevelopment fund set aside to help two areas that we're trying to redevelop," Walsh said. "That includes the Village of Okemos area, and the four corners up in Haslett.”
Because the money need to be used for two projects, the redevelopment corporation had to cap the amount given to the Village of Okemos project at $1.25 million.
“They know when it comes to develop, there's only so much we can do," Walsh said. "Yes, the infrastructure needs to be improved in the area of Okemos and Hamilton, I hope the project moves forward, because if it does, the new taxes from the development will pay for that infrastructure. If the project doesn't move forward, we still have the infrastructure to improve, but we don't have the new taxes to do it.”
Walsh said he hopes this will be enough to allow the project to move forward.
“There's only so much we can do. We're not the developers," Walsh said. "We don't plan to be the developers and we don't plan to invest in the building. But we do want to improve the infrastructure around it."
Walsh said the $1.25 million from the township redevelopment fund still needs approval from the township board.
The Village of Okemos developers have also requested $4 million from the brownfield redevelopment fund in the township and $10 million from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Both requests are still in the review process.
“We'll be paying close attention to how that moves forward to see if truly our $1.25 million will bridge the gap to see the project move forward,” Walsh said.
The project will have 200 residential units and 32,000 square feet of commercial space.
The Village of Okemos developers did not respond to a request for comment. Construction could begin in June and be complete by 2024.
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