Dennis Burck/City Pulse

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson (left) and U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Mich., (center) talk to Mark K. Clouse, chief financial officer of the Eyde Co., on a balcony at the Knapp’s Centre in downtown Lansing today.

THURSDAY, Oct. 4 — U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson visited Lansing today with Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Mich., to tour apartments and businesses at the Knapp’s Centre.

The incumbent Bishop is in a tough fight against Democratic challenger Elissa Slotkin for a third term representing the 8th Congressional district.

“I love to have Dr. Carson here. He is a Michigander. He has nothing to do with the election,” Bishop said. Carson was born in Detroit. He moved to Massachusetts when he was 8.

“It is all about Lansing and to see a plan come to fruition here.” Bishop added. “It is a great opportunity for us to see what can happen when local, state and federal government get together with the private sector.”

The Knapp’s Centre, a classic Streamline Moderne building from the 1930s, operated as Knapp’s Department Store. It changed hands twice before it closed in the early ‘80s. The Eyde Co., which bought it in 1983, reopened the building as mixed use four years ago, using a HUD 108 loan and a New Market tax credit for renovations.

“Being able to reclaim buildings like this in Opportunity Zones is going to be absolutely spectacular throughout the country,” Carson said.

Opportunity Zones are “located in historically neglected and distressed areas in our country and use tax incentives to encourage private-sector investments in low-income communities,” a press release explained.

Carson said this issue is not partisan.

“We are looking at those kinds of things that will revitalize economically depressed sections of our country and create opportunities for people because they are our most important resource.”

Answering questions, Bishop said he would stand next to President Trump if he were to campaign in Michigan.

“I have no reservations whatsoever in agreeing with the president when I agree with him and disagreeing with him when I don’t.”