Thursday, May 7, 2015

Scandal: State Overpaid MILLIONS For New #MeekhofSenateBuilding

State Sen. Arlan Meekhof

By Brandon Hall
(Email him at

A shocking, scandalous report from WXYX in Detroit reveals that the State of Michigan is grossly overpaying for the new Meekhof Senate Building that has disgusted Michiganders as we scrape together money for roads and other essential services. The shady deal also happens to benefit one of Meekhof's donors...

MIRS has revealed the total cost of the new #MeekhofSenateBuilding will be over $130 million dollars when it's all said and done, because of bond costs.

Arlan Meekhof's spokeswoman actually had the nerve to say an appraisal was not needed and that she is not troubled by the fact taxpayers are being screwed out of millions.

>>>WMP is committed to doing everything possible to stop this outrageous waste and abuse of millions in taxpayer money on the new #MeekhofSenateBuilding. Stay tuned for another story on this tomorrow, and a lot more to come!

WXYZ says:

"The Michigan Senate drastically overpaid for new office space purchased from a politically-connected developer, according to Lansing's assessor of record. William Fowler told Channel 7's Ross Jones that the $41 million purchase price isn't supported by the current real estate market in downtown Lansing.

"Based on everything you know, is this building anywhere near worth $41 million?" asked Channel 7's Ross Jones.

"Not in today’s market," Fowler said, calling the sales price "three times greater than anything that has sold downtown of comparable use."

Fowler says that his office currently has Capitol View assessed at about $12 million, a figure he says is closer to what it’s actually worth.  Were it to be built brand new today, his office estimates it would cost just under $22 million.

Fowler says his office won’t use Capitol View’s sale price as a benchmark for assessing other properties downtown.

The building has been dubbed the "Capitol View boondoggle" by Democratic lawmakers, and even though the project was pushed through by Republicans leadership, even many Republicans have a hard time defending the purchase.

"I don't think anybody's excited about it," said Rep. Al Pscholka (R-Stevensville). "I don't think anybody likes it."

But like it or not, barring some last-minute maneuver, Michigan taxpayers will be on the hook to pay for all of it: $41 million for the building, as much $10 million to fix it up and, when you add on 30-years of interest, a total cost of about $134 million.

Sen. Arlen Meekhof (R-West Olive) is the Senate Majority Leader in Lansing today. He wasn’t in charge when the Senate made the deal to buy Capitol View last year, but he did support it. When we visited his offices last month, he wouldn’t talk to us about Capitol View. Instead, his office sent out Meekhof's spokeswoman, Amber McCann.

"(The assessor) said that the $41 million is substantially higher than he thinks the building is actually worth," Jones told McCann.

"Okay," McCann replied.

"Does that trouble you at all?" Jones asked.

"I’m not troubled by his opinion, he’s entitled to his opinion," McCann said.

"But doesn’t that make you feel like you maybe should have gotten that appraisal?" Jones asked.

"At this point, I don’t feel like an appraisal was necessary," she replied.

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at 


Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

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