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Company let out of lease agreement for Grand Rapids parking ramp

When the city of Grand Rapids sold the Comerica building to the Chicago-based real estate firm Franklin Partners, the city knew that they would be needing parking spaces for all of the new employees that would be working in the building.

Originally, 275 parking spaces were leased out in July of this year in the nearby Louis Campau parking ramp, city officials hoped it would be a long-term deal that would bring in an estimated $3 million in revenue through the end of the lease in 2028.

But with Franklin Partners only reporting approximately 80 of those spaces being used, the city of Grand Rapids is seriously considering letting the real estate firm out of their commercial lease agreement.

In exchange, the city has asked that Franklin Partners install about $250,000 in LED lighting into the city ramp, spend about $185,000 renovating the city-owned skywalk between the ramp and the building, and scrap an easement that will allow the city to do future renovations in the ramp at the cost of around $150,000.

When asked why the city was allowing the firm out of its lease, the city's managing director of parking services pointed out that it didn't make any sense to have a parking lease for 275 spaces when they were only using 80. Though the city may lose out on the revenue, they hope that other people can use the spaces and that they may be able to recoup the cost at some point.

Source: mlive.com, "Grand Rapids to let new Comerica building owner out of $3 million parking lease," Matt Vande Bunte, Oct. 11, 2012

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