mall target view

The Village of Lansing Planning Board considered issues in the process of being resolved before accepting a preliminary platt for a proposal to subdivide the Shops at Ithaca Mall. The mall owners, Namdar Realty Group and Mason Asset Management, propose to subdivide the existing mall plus a portion of the parking lot in order to sell anchor stores to their tenants and to facilitate the construction of an extended stay hotel on what is now a parking lot behind the Triphammer Road Clarion Hotel. Additionally the subdivision will facilitate the granting of Graham Road West plus a portion of the mall ring road to the Village, which will finally allow it to repair the heavily pocked roadway leading to BJ's Wholesale Club.

The purpose of the proposal is to allow anchor stores to own their own spaces in the mall, as Target already does. In 2017 mall representative CMC Engineering Manager Kenneth Farrall explained the reason is to give those stores more of a stake in the mall so when they are considering store closings they are less likely to close the locations they own. He said that provides more of an incentive for businesses to locate in the smaller stores still owned by the mall management, because they feel more secure that it is more likely that traffic-generating anchor stores will stay.

The Village and mall attorneys heva been in the process of resolving stormwater sewer issues. Village Engineer Brent Cross reported on discussions about stormwater and how the issue should be tied to the subdivision proposal. He said that this project is unique because most of the infrastructure already exists before subdivision was proposed.

"We've come to a realization that the stormater aspects we're concerned about, are really not based on any pending construction," Cross said. "All of it has to do with existing infrastructure that needs some attention. My sense is that the owner of the property is committed to addressing these maintenance issues independently of the subdivision process. Assuming we can get that assurance from them there isn't any need to tie any detailed engineering solutions to the subdivision."

He added that as new projects arise, such as the proposed extended stay hotel to be located on one of the subdivisions, the Planning Board will have the opportunity to review new stormwater plans and implications relative to the whole property. He noted that there is time before ruling on the subdivision because the mall representatives still have to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for some variances needed before subdividing tore spaces within the mall that have no buffer between them beyond a wall.

Farrall said the three items under discussion are removing rocks in the pipe underneath the mall; removing materials from a swale near Dick's Sporting Goods to add additional volume; and changing the pipe configuration at the border of the mall parking lot and the neighborhood to its west to mitigate flooding from the mall property to the neighborhood.

The Board voted to close the public hearing. Once the ZBA rules on variances, the Planning Board may accept the preliminary platt, and then set a public hearing on the final platt.

"I think we're all interested in moving this along," said Planning Board Chair Lisa Schleelein.