OWOSSO CITY COUNCIL voted 6-1 during the Monday, Sept. 16 regular meeting in favor of an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Exemption Certificate for Ludington Electric at 152 E. Howard St., Owosso. The tax exemption is for a 12-year period supporting a $1.3 million project that will see the creation of two additional commercial spaces on the ground level and seven, one-bedroom “upscale” apartments on the second floor of the current structure. Parking will be accessible in the rear of the building.
Council member Janae Fear was the single “no” vote. Some concerns were expressed regarding the city nearing its 5 percent tax abatement/Brownfield ceiling. The city is currently at 4.51 percent, according to Owosso City Manager Nathan Henne. Logically, residents don’t want to see renovated abatement properties remain empty or to have too many properties within a tax abatement/exemption process.
Owners Sue and Carl Ludington are also planning to obtain a Brownfield on the same property that would begin directly following the 12-year OPRA limit – a total of 26 years in an abatement/exemption package.
Municipalities generally use tax exemptions and/or abatements to encourage restoring blighted or obsolete commercial properties.
Sue and Carl Ludington have owned the property since 2003, utilizing it on a full-time basis for their business since 2005. It is thought that the two new commercial spaces should introduce new jobs, as well.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)