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LCC offers to buy parking lot, option on vacant Oliver Towers apartment building too.

The old Oliver Towers apartment complex
(Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
The old Oliver Towers apartment complex

The city of Lansing may finally be close to selling a long vacant apartment building that’s a short distance from the state capitol. 

The Oliver Towers has been closed for a decade since it was heavily damaged by a fire.

Numerous attempts to sell the property have failed.

Today, the city announced Lansing Community College has agreed to buy a parking lot next to the Towers for slightly more than a million dollars, with an option on the old apartment building.

The deal still needs the approval of the Lansing City Council and the LCC Board of Trustees. 

In a written statement, LCC President Brent Knight says, “Acquiring this parcel is critical to the long-term strategic needs of Lansing Community College, so we are delighted to partner with the City of Lansing to bring this transaction to fruition.”

The purchase may also help the city of Lansing deal with its current financial problems.   The $1.2 million purchase price could help the city deal with a $4.7 million budget gap next year.

 “We find ourselves in a difficult spot with just a few months left in the current fiscal year, so we need to take the most prudent approach possible to resolve the current shortfall in our budget,” Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said in a written statement. 

The mayor’s office announced a deal last year to swap the Oliver Towers with Davenport University.   The university said it would trade its Lansing campus site with the city for the Oliver Towers property.   The college wanted to tear the building down and replace it with a new $10 million building that would serve as Davenport’s new Lansing campus.   But that deal fell through when the Lansing City Council balked. 

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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