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Monday, March 15,2010

Shopping and skating

Grant could bring year-round skating rink to the Lansing City Market area

by Neal McNamara


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 infrastructure or public improvements. The TIFA board on March 5 approved the use of $400,000 for the rink.


Bob Tresize, 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 be recreational as opposed to one that could accommodate ice hockey and would resemble Campus Martius in downtown Detroit. He emphasized that the rink would be an attraction to City Market shoppers and anyone traveling that part of the river trail. He envisioned the rink as a symbol of Lansing’s vibrancy, especially for the Accident Fund Insurance Co., which is creating its new campus-like headquarters just across the Grand River. The rink would also be just to the west of local developer Pat Gillespie’s proposed Market Place development, which is set to replace the old City Market.


The rink would be 4,200 square feet, kidney shaped and made of synthetic plastic tiles. In the arch of the kidney would be a fire pit or water feature, according to plans.


 



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Top: A rendering of the proposed skating rink. Bottom: Campus
Martius in downtown Detroit.



The downtown Principal Shopping District would be charged with maintaing 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 complete by this year’s Silver Bells celebration in November. The rink would be free to use, though ice skate rentals would not, Biladeau said.



 

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