This Morning: Next steps for Okemos downtown development project

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Work crews are now prepping the site to re-vamp downtown Okemos.

Trustees in Meridian Township approved a multi-million dollar development site-plan that’ll take shape near where the former “Bottom’s Up Dance Wear” currently sits.

The fences are up and the signs are in place as workers get ready to tackle a massive project.

Will Randle, Chief Operating Officer, for True North Development tells me Trustees in Meridian Township approved a roughly $110 million site plan to transform downtown Okemos into an actual “downtown.”

“We’ve got a total of 8 buildings just shy of 300,000 square feet. 50,000 or so of that is street level retail or commercial with apartments above,” says Randle.

Those buildings, he says, will be anywhere from 3 to 5 stories tall.

“We feel like it can create really a vibrant gathering space for Meridian Township, a center for Meridian Township which has been lacking.” says Randle.

While the site plan was approved, he’s still waiting on a brownfield plan to be approved by the Township and State as well.

This he says, will reimburse developers for environmental remediation on the site.

However, in the meantime he says some work is being done by Department of Environmental Quality workers to clean up contamination from solvents used by the former dry cleaner and gas stations.

“They’ll dig their hole, the state being they, will dig their hole and then we will come in right behind them and continue,” says Randle.

Randle expects the first phase of the project to wrap up in two years.

“We’re hoping that this is going to be an area of social and business and true live work play type of a place,” says Randle.

The work stretches from Clinton to Methodist streets.

Randle says once the project is complete it will create more than 100 full time jobs.

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