“I was meeting with some representatives from Land & Co. this morning and an architect of theirs,” said Steve Maas, mayor of Grandville. “My understanding is that property is going to be developed by Land & Co. or the Land family. My understanding is the development would be a mixed use residential, commercial, retail project.”
John Truscott, a GOP consultant and spokesman for Land & Co., told FOX 17 traffic and water run-off studies are being performed this summer and into the fall. A site plan is expected to be submitted this fall, but groundbreaking plans are premature. Truscott says that’s dependent on site plan approval and rezoning.
“Some rezoning might be necessary,” said Truscott.
FOX 17 has also reached out to the Grandville city manager’s office in an attempt to learn additional details about the proposed project.
The site has become a political talking point in the race for Michigan’s U.S. Senate seat between Democratic Rep. Gary Peters and Republican Terri Lynn Land.
The issue centers on a vacant lot that 170 families called home ten years ago.
“Some have reached out to us and you may be hearing from them at some point,” said Peters.
The Peters campaign used the site today as a backdrop to promote renewal of the New Markets Tax Credit, a federal tax break used to incentivize public-private partnerships in low-income communities. The MNTC is set to expire at the end of this year.
“It’s a program that here in Michigan over$700 million since the beginning of the program has been invested in our state,” Peters said. “It’s resulted in 22,000 jobs. It has about an eight-to-one return. For every dollar of federal money going into the new the new market tax credit, you get about $8 of private investment.”
But a spokeswoman for the Land campaign criticized Peters, accusing the Democrat of being uninformed about the potential development in Grandville ahead of his visit to west Michigan.
“Since Congressman Gary Peters went to Washington, more than 70,000 families and business owners in and around his district have had their homes and businesses foreclosed due to high taxes and a lack of jobs,” said Heather Swift, Land campaign spokeswoman. “Congressman Gary Peters refuses to talk about creating jobs and lowering taxes for families so they can keep their homes and climb the ladder of opportunity. Instead, Congressman Gary Peters is more concerned with scoring political points by attacking Terri’s family. Next time Congressman Gary Peters decides to come to West Michigan to attack local businesses and communities maybe he ought to check with the local elected officials first.”
The Peters campaign says this progress is hard to believe.
“West Michigan families know better to believe Terri Lynn Land when they’ve heard this all before,” said Kevin McAlister, Michigan Democratic Party spokesman. “After letting her property sit vacant for nearly a decade since she evicted 170 families. It’s sad it took pressure from Land’s opponent to get even hollow rhetoric and a cheap political stunt about this vacant lot. The fact of the matter is the Grandville community has been led down this path before with no results, even to this day. Gary Peters was in West Michigan today because Michiganders deserve more than vacant lots, they expect opportunity and investment. He will continue to fight for middle class families and jobs as Michigan’s next senator.”
The company that owns the property – Land & Co. – is run by Land’s husband, Dan Hibma.