Lansing's Northtown Neighborhood Chosen for State Revitalization Project

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

Kat Tyler has lived in Lansing's Northtown Neighborhood her entire life and has watched it slowly decline.

"It's saddened me over the years to see the neighborhood decline," she said.

With one in seven houses lying vacant, it's exactly what neighborhood President Catherine Mooney was hoping to turn around when she found the MI Neighborhood program about five months ago.

It was a new program through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Designed to help revitalize neighborhoods, it focused on key areas, like enhancing appearance, marketing, organization and reinvestment.

It's exactly what Mooney was looking for.

"I think we had five weeks to kind of rally all of our resources, rally our volunteers, get all of the data that we needed and get everything submitted," said Mooney.

On Tuesday, the Northtown Neighborhood found out it was chosen for the program, along with two other neighborhoods in Flint and Muskegon. Northtown will receive three years of training and assistance to help attract new residents and investors.

They'll also be working with the Center for New Enterprise Opportunity, a local organization that helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

"The idea is to brink them in, have them use our conference room sand our resources," said Paul Jaques, NEO Center Co-Founder.

MI Neighborhood Coordinator Lori LaPerriere told News 10 over the phone the program came about after seeing the success of the Michigan Main Street program, which helps to revitalize downtown areas across the state, including Old Town in Lansing.

Mooney hopes to see similar success.

"We're building an actual community here and this MSHDA program is going to give us the training, the resources that we need to really make the most of that," she said.

Goals for the neighborhood including fixing up homes and bringing new businesses to the stretch of Grand River Avenue that runs through it.


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