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The Lookout | March 1, 2021

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Parking ramp plans put on hold by city

Parking ramp plans put on hold by city
  • On March 12, 2020

By Robin Morales
Associate Editor

The Lansing Planning Board, which oversees city infrastructure, announced it will wait until its Thursday, April 7 meeting before reconsidering the current stoppage of construction plans for a new LCC parking ramp.

That new ramp, approved by the LCC Board of Trustees April 15, 2019, is estimated to cost approximately $51 million. It would replace the current ground-level parking lot at the corner of Capitol Avenue and Shiawassee Street. The Lansing City Council has not approved this plan yet and construction has not started.

The Planning Board cited complaints from nearby city residents, who have expressed disapproval of building another parking ramp in an otherwise vibrant section of the downtown district, according to City Council President Peter Spadafore.

“There was some opposition from some residents near there and it just wasn’t quite ready to be sent to city council,” Spadafore said. “Obviously I have my own personal reservations about the project itself.

“I worry about putting a five-story parking structure downtown in what’s got a lot of potential to be an area for development,” Spadafore said. “That parking ramp will sit vacant when classes aren’t in session because, as I understand it, it will not be available for the general public, or even residents of those buildings.”

Work on rebuilding the Gannon ramp, which was scheduled to follow the first new parking ramp, has been halted as well.

LCC President Dr. Brent Knight said the college will continue to confront the parking problem.

“We have to,” Knight said. “The Gannon ramp must be replaced. It must be demolished and rebuilt and we’re determined to find a solution.”

Spadafore added: “I do not disagree with students that parking can be a challenge sometimes. I think that I would completely understand that.

“But building that big of a parking structure for partial-time occupancy really is a waste of that real estate and doesn’t fit into a long-term vision.

“I worry that it’s a 1960s solution to a 2020 problem.”