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Davenport University drops bid for Lansing's Oliver Towers

The blighted Oliver Towers complex in Lansing, Michigan.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
The blighted Oliver Towers complex in Lansing, Michigan.

Davenport University says the process of acquiring an empty apartment complex in Lansing has gotten too ‘political’.    So Davenport is dropping its bid for the ‘Oliver Towers’.   

Davenport offered to swap its current downtown campus for the property just north of the state capital building, where it planned to build a new college campus.   But the Lansing City Council stalled the deal, to consider a competing offer from Lansing Community College.     

Davenport University President Richard Pappas says the deal is now off the table. 

We appreciate the strong support we received from Mayor Virg Bernero and many others in the community who viewed this as an excellent investment in the City of Lansing benefitting the Lansing Housing Commission and its clientele, current and future Davenport students, area employers and the local economy,” said Pappas. “While we still may have obtained the necessary approvals to proceed, we believe it is unproductive to become mired in the politics surrounding this property. We respect all our partners in the city, including Lansing Community College, from which many of our students have obtained associate degrees.”   

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero blames his city council opponents for the Davenport deal falling through.  

“This is a sad day for the City of Lansing and a sad reflection on the continuing dysfunction and obstruction orchestrated by the ‘NO Caucus’ of the Lansing City Council," Bernero said in a written statement, "It is shocking that they would prevent Davenport from even presenting their proposal to invest and grow and create jobs in our city.  If Lansing voters needed further proof that it is time for a change on this Council, they now have it."

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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