YMCA Arrives in Growing DeWitt

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DeWitt residents will soon have a new place to lift, run and stretch, as a new YMCA gets set to move into town.

"It became a real viable option for the YMCA in a community that has kids and family and is really growing," says Lansing-area YMCA president Tony Fragale.

Fragale says construction will begin next month on the sixth Lansing-area "Y."

"It'll start mid-January most likely, and we expect to be in the facility in June," Fragale says.

The "Y" will move into a space in the DeWitt shopping center on Schavey Road currently occupied by local institution Norm Kessel Florists.

"The lease is up," says owner Dave Mansfield. "It's time to move on."

Mansfield will pack up his store's trinkets and trees after Christmas and move down the road to Okemos, where he hopes he'll do even more business than in DeWitt.

"Customers are very unhappy to see us go," he says. "We live here. We love these people. We've been here for 15 years in this shopping center. It's hard to leave."

Customers may be blue, but Fragale says the overall response to the new "Y" has been upbeat.

"There's been a great deal of interest, and hopefully even more excitment as it grows closer to opening," says Fragale.

The "Y" will utilize the flower shop's existing 13,000 square feet of space, and they'll build another 5,000 square feet on the southwest side. Fragale hopes the new facility will send both current and potential members running to DeWitt.