New BWL Plant to Reignite REO Town

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LANSING (WILX)-- Lansing's new cogeneration plant is just days away from being turned on.

BWL is putting the final touches on the REO Town plant this weekend. The Grand Opening on Monday, July 1st is expected to reignite the historic town that has dwindled over the past decade.

"When you put $182 million dollars into a region nothing but good can happen," said Stephen Serkaian, BWL Communications Director.

Right now about 50 % of the REO Town store fronts are empty, but that's an improvement since BWL started construction in 2011.

"We want to be good neighbors. We built this facility to blend into the neighborhood."

During the construction some local businesses struggled to survive.

"The road closure was a challenge to say the least, but we still had some great customers that made it down here and helped us survive," said Craig Landes, Co-Owner of REO Town Pub.

Now that the new facilities are finished, the roads been re-done, and new landscaping has been put in, Landes says it was worth the wait.

"They've done a wonderful job as far as how everything looks."

REO Town Commercial Association says they have multiple businesses looking at moving in once the plant becomes fully operational in the fall. BWL alone is creating 180 jobs that will begin after labor day.

"You're going to have 180 workers here eating breakfast, lunch, along the business strip," said Serkaian.

At the Grand Opening on Monday the plant will begin operations, and will start providing 20% of BWL's electric generation to it's consumers. The public is invited to come on Monday to have a sneak peak.

"We'll be here all weekend getting the facility ready for the public to view for the first time. "

There will be two open house tours on Monday, July 1st.

Morning Tour: 10-11:30 am

Afternoon Tour: 1:30-3 pm

If you plan on going to the open house parking is going to be tough. BWL plans to open two free lots off of Washington Avenue, two blocks south of it's REO Town Headquarters to accommodate all the visitors.

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