Changing Face of East Lansing Downtown

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It's not the only empty space. Chio's is leaving, and their building has been re-rented. Also, the building that was Tower Records is available for lease.

East Lansing Planning and Development's James van Ravensway says those vacanies aren't unusual, and they have businesses interested.

There are also new developments on the horizon. The West Village project and the City Center 2 are the biggest. Both will be home to retail and housing units.

van Ravensway says the City Center 2 is one factor that closed the Evergreen Grill. The development would have been forced them to move.

Another factor--he admits--is a factor for all of downtown. Since the opening of Eastwood Towne Center in 2002, many shoppers have moved out to that location. van Ravensway says the most important factor in developing downtown is creating a "critical mass" of retailers, much like that shopping center.