March 13 2013 12:00 AM

Company expected to delay request for tax abatement

This story was updated on July 22.

Friday, July 20 – The high-tech firm Niowave Inc., which has been under pressure from neighbors for building a massive pole barn next to its headquarters, is expected to delay its request for a $200,000 tax abatement from the city of Lansing, city officials say.

City Council President Jeffries and City Clerk Chris Swope said they had heard from Lansing Economic Area Partnership — LEAP —  that the company would pull its request, on which a public hearing is scheduled before the Council on Monday. The meeting's agenda issued by the City Clerk's Office late Friday afternoon shows that the public hearing is not scheduled.

A LEAP official confirmed Saturday that Niowave sought to pull the public hearing for the abatement from Monday's meeting to discuss further in committee. Niowave officials could not be reached for comment. City Councilwoman Carol Wood told residents on Friday who live in the same neighborhood as Niowave that the company was pulling its request entirely, but later said the company wants to discuss it more in committee.

Niowave is seeking the abatement for a $10 million expansion, which includes building the 14,000-square-foot, three-story-high metal pole barn adjacent to the old Walnut Street School in a residential neighborhood. Niowave bought the school property in 2006 as its headquarters. Niowave researches and develops superconducting particle accelerators.

After neighbors complained about its appearance, Jeffries suggested tying improvements to the pole barn to approval of the tax abatement.