GM's Lansing Craft Centre and Lansing Metal Center have long been icons of mid-Michigan's manufacturing identity. But after hearing news they'll soon be demolished, Lansing Township trustees are turning to their community and asking: What next?
"It's really important to seek input and listen to what our community members need, especially those who live right across the street," township trustee Tom Masseau says.
Masseau is one of the trustees who will eventually decide how to use the 177 acres the two plants occupy. Thursday night at the township hall, people came and shared their ideas, from family entertainment facilities to mixed-use neighborhoods.
A group of Wayne State University grad students even presented a study they'd conducted on how best to utilize the land. There were differences of opinion, but nearly everyone agreed on one thing.
"The worst thing we could do is let the land lay idle," says Lansing resident Joy Gleason.
"There's a lot of discussion on green space, parks, soccer fields, office buildings, residential units," adds Masseau.
"We know it's a long process," says State Rep. Joan Bauer (D-Lansing). "It won't be overnight."
In fact, it'll be years. The plants won't be bulldozed for another 18 months, and Masseau says a decision on how to use the land won't be made for another three years. And it could be seven years until something actually happens.
But the township wants to make sure they make good use of something that treated them so well for so long.