Dec. 2 2008 12:00 AM

Deal reached to sell LCC a city parking ramp

Lansing City Council President Brian Jeffries announced at Monday night’s Council meeting that a new deal has been reach over the sale of the North Capitol Parking Ramp to Lansing Community College.

The new deal increases the sale price $100,000 from the original $2.7 million, appeasing four on Council who thought the original sale price was too low.

Also under the new deal, LCC will give the city a 50-percent reduction in rent, saving the city $161,000 over the course of the two year lease. (The Department of Neighborhood Planning and Development office is housed on the first floor of the ramp.) The city will also vacate Schoolcraft Drive (just south of West Saginaw Street between Grand and Capitol avenues), unloading the immediate $40,000 road resurfacing price tag to LCC, along with future maintenance costs.

The four former Council no-voters — Jeffries, At-Large Councilwoman Carol Wood, First Ward Councilman Eric Hewitt and Third Ward Councilwoman A'Lynne Robinson — and LCC officials, including Board of Trustees Chair Robin Smith, brokered the deal. In a letter transmitted to Mayor Virg Bernero, the four Council members pledged to vote for the sale of the ramp if the new conditions are used.

In an interview Monday evening, Jeffries said the impetus for the sale was taking care of the surrounding neighborhood, which would have seen increased traffic and a large structure — LCC was making moves to build a new ramp on vacant land it owns along Capitol Avenue — instead of other proposed uses for the vacant lot, such as a performing arts center.

"We wanted to keep a ramp out of the neighborhood," he said. "Certainly this is a major improvement to the neighborhood."

The deal now rests in the hands of Bernero. City Finance Director Jerry Ambrose indicated Monday night during the meeting that the mayor has always been supportive of the sale.