HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 18Issue 23Proposed Lansing Casino Proponents Extend Land Deal Deadline

On Wednesday, July 25, 2012, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (“Tribe”), Lansing Future Development LLC and Lansing officials announced that they have extended the deadline for completing the sale of land in connection with a proposed tribal casino in the city.  The 90-day extension will allow developers to complete “necessary pre-development work” before the land transfer will take place.  The original deadline was set for August 1, 2012.

According to the developers of the project, some details that are still being completed include a full parking analysis, project aesthetics, consideration of building a permanent structure versus a temporary building on the site of the corner parcel, and more detailed civil engineering work that includes a detailed utility plan.

According to developers, the original project investors, Lansing Future LLC, have restructured and the development entity renamed itself Lansing Future Development LLC.  This was done to allow investor Robert G. Liggett Jr. a larger role in the project.  Mr. Liggett Jr. is owner of Big Boy restaurants across Michigan.  All of the original investors remain partners in the reorganized entity, with Bill Martines remaining as CEO.

The Tribe plans to build a 125,000 square-foot gaming facility in downtown Lansing that would house an estimated 3,000 slot machines and 48 table games.

Once the land deal is finalized, the Tribe must seek approval from the federal government in order to move forward with the project. The Tribe must file the necessary documentation and applications for an off-reservation gaming expansion with the Department of the Interior. The Secretary of the Interior would then need to take the land in downtown Lansing into trust for the benefit of the tribe after determining that the Tribe would be eligible to open a casino at the location.

Typically, prior to federal approval of off-reservation casino land deals, both the state and local support is required. On February 7, 2012, Governor Snyder and state Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a joint letter stating their opposition to the project, in part, because the Governor has taken the position that the project would conflict with other tribal compacts in the state, as well as with federal law.

 

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