Lansing
7:22 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Deadline ahead for Lansing casino project

A deadline is looming for a proposed downtown Lansing casino.

The proposed $245 million casino project involves a complicated business and land deal between the city of Lansing, private developers and an indian tribe from the Upper Peninsula. 

So complicated those involved were not able to reach an agreement on the various aspects of the project by an August deadline.   So they gave themselves an extension until November 1st.

But with two weeks before the extended deadline there’s still no final agreement.

John Wernet is an attorney for the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.   He says they are “on track to close on the purchase by November 1, though the amount of work….is a bit daunting.”

Bill Martines is with the project’s private developers, Lansing Future Development LLC.   He says they’ve made “tremendous progress”, though he declines to say what issues remain unresolved.   Martines expects they will complete the agreement before the deadline.

The Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians must still ask the federal government to take the land into trust for the tribe before the project can move forward.   But an attorney for tribe says a lawsuit filed by the state of Michigan may slow that process.   

State officials say the proposed casino violates federal law and an agreement between the tribe and the state involving the tribe’s other existing casinos.