March 17 2010 12:00 AM

City agency applies for grant for downtown skating rink



A $500,000 ice rink near the new City Market may be in Lansing’s future.

The Lansing Tax Increment Finance Authority has applied for a $100,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to build a year-round rink, which would be partially covered. The remaining $400,000 would come from revenues from the TIFA. The TIFA captures taxes in the district and reserves them for uses such as public improvements.

Bob Trezise, CEO of the Lansing Economic Development Corp., said the rink would help continue to create a “sense of place” in the downtown area.

Trezise said the MEDC will announce grant awards on April 1. The MEDC only has available $400,000 in grants.

Trezise said that the rink would resem ble Campus Martius in downtown Detroit. He envisioned the rink as a symbol of Lansing’s vibrancy.

The rink would be 4,200 square feet, kidney shaped and made of synthetic plastic tiles. The downtown Principal Shopping District would be charged with maintaining the rink. It financed a $4,500 preliminary engineering study for the rink.

“It would be the first year-round rink in the state,” said Mindy Biladeau, director of the Principal Shopping District.

Biladeau said that if the grant is awarded, construction could be completed by the Silver Bells celebration in November. Biladeau said that she has heard that the Lansing grant is in competition with 16 other projects for the MEDC funds. The rink would be free to use, though ice skate rentals would not, Biladeau said.