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Affordable housing development may go up on vacant lot in west Lansing

Posted at 5:11 PM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 17:11:26-05

LANSING, Mich. — Development could be on its way to a long-vacant lot on Lansing's west side. A Massachusetts company is looking to buy the city-owned property and use it to build affordable housing.

Gryphon Group LLC wants to buy a lot at the corner of Hillsdale Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from the city for $200,000.

City officials said they were surprised by the offer, because the land was only appraised for $195,000.

“I’m surprised they didn’t say 195, but I think 200 is kind of like change, you know?” said Lansing Director of Planning and Economic Development Brian McGrain.

The lot has been vacant for well over 10 years, after the old Union Missionary Baptist Church was torn down.

Mayor Andy Schor, who has been vocal about the need for more affordable housing in the city, said he’s glad the land might be used.

“Being able to put up another variety of units, or two to three story apartments, that are affordable is really positive for our city and it provides options for more folks to come here and to live and to work,” Schor said.

Come Feb.14., the City Council will vote on whether they want to move the sale agreement forward or not. Councilman Brian Jackson said his vote all comes down to one thing.

“One of the things that I will be looking forward to is knowing what affordable means to this developer and also will they have subsidized units along with affordable units. So not only can the “affordable” live there but even people with less means than that can live there as well,” Jackson said.