OKEMOS - On April 26, a public hearing was held at the the Township Board meeting for the community to discuss development plans for the Village of Okemos.
During the public hearing, two residents stepped up to discuss possible suggestions and concerns regarding the future of this project as it is in its early stages of development.
Haslett resident Neil R. Bowlby, who has been attending public hearings for nine years, raised a concern regarding the history of this site. Bowlby suggested to members of the Board to create a plan that would guarantee the Township reimbursement for redevelopment funds allocated towards this project. HE stated, “We really need this kind of project down there, and I support the Township doing all they can to support it, but taxpayers need to get value for their money, if there is anyways to work into some sort of a performance guarantee because you may put up all this money and they do all this work and then pack up and leave as the first developer did.”
The second resident, Joseph Dzenowagis, who has been living in Meridian Township for over five years, raised a concern regarding the commitment of tenants to this space once the project is complete and if the developers had any tenants lined up to occupy the rooms, especially the lower areas of the two building as they mentioned in previous plans that the facilities would have the infrastructure to support different types of restaurants, coffee shops, or salons.
Mr. Dzenowagis stated, “Do they have tenants committed to this space, or are we gonna have a vacant bottom of this hotel apartments like they have in East Lansing, which is not fully developed, so we are going to have this bizarre-looking thing that has this empty bottoms, and how does this issue affect this project overall.”
To watch the full hearing, watch the meeting below.