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Lansing mayor asks developers to find other uses for city hall site

Lansing's city hall
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Outgoing Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero wants to sell city hall to developers and relocate the city's offices.

Lansing’s outgoing mayor wants to sell city hall and find a new home for the city's offices.    

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero today formally asked for proposals from businesses interested in turning Lansing City Hall’s downtown location into a hotel, office space, residential units or retail space.  He’s also asking for a plan to relocate city offices elsewhere.

“Our current city hall is now more than 50 years old, and the time has come to secure new facilities that will serve city government and Lansing residents for the next 50 years,” said Bernero.

Lansing City Hall sits on prime real estate in the heart of the capital city. The building is flanked by towering state office buildings and sits across the street from the Michigan Capitol. 

The building has been showing its age for some time. 

Bernero said rehabbing building will cost up to $60 million. The mayor says his plan to let a developer find a new use for the current site will offset the cost of a new city hall.

Councilwoman Carol Wood does not believe this is how Bernero should spend his final days at city hall. The mayor leaves office in 200 days.

“The mayor gets an idea in his head, and he can’t let it go,” said Wood. 

During his decade in office, Bernero has often talked about the need to find a new city hall. But Wood says Lansing residents would rather see city leaders focus on fixing roads.

Prospective developers will have until mid-August to submit their proposals to the city of Lansing.  

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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