Business Booming in Downtown Lansing

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

If you've been to downtown Lansing recently, you may have noticed more and more signs saying "open for business."

"From September 2009 to September 2010, we've welcomed 30 new businesses to downtown Lansing," Mindy Biladeau, executive director of Downtown Lansing Inc., said.

That's a lot said Biladeau, especially in this economy.

"Lansing is definitely a hot market right now," she said.

Biladeau attributes this mini economic boon to the numbers, i.e. more and more people living downtown, and even more working there. The Accident Fund, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and soon MSUFCU are all setting up shop.

"People are recognizing this locally and across the country and really want to get a piece of the pie," she said.

The real question will be in the long term. Do these businesses have staying power? Kositchek's has been located downtown for more than 140 years, we asked the owner, 'what's the secret?'

"We like to make people feel at home," David Kositchek said. "I think that's what's allowed us to perpetuate what my great grandpa, grandpa and father have built."

David Kositchek has certainly seen downtown Lansing evolve.

"Cleaning up Michigan Avenue and creating an entertainment district was really a catalyst for so much that has now come to fruition," Kositchek said.

He calls the area, the best it's been in 35 years.

"I think we're on the right track," Kositchek said.

There's still a ways to go he said, but if the barbershops and yogurt shops are any indication, the economy here is heading in the right direction.

City council woman Carol Wood said about 90 percent of the vacant buildings downtown have been filled. Biladeau said there are more businesses coming in 2011.

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  • by Ricardo Location: Lansing on Sep 27, 2010 at 04:07 AM
    Ahh yes. Michael's comments bring back beautiful memories of days gone by. I can remember the Michigan theatre arcade with all the neat little shops. (and of coursegoing to the movies too) When the malls started getting built, that pretty much sealed the fate of shopping downtown. Paying outlandish parking rates, or worse getting a parking ticket for being 5 minutes late from feeding the meter. That pretty much sealed downtown's demise. About the only people left there are over paid government "workers" and L.C.C. students. Thank you Ricardo
  • by Susan Location: Lansing on Sep 23, 2010 at 05:02 PM
    So, in that same time period, how many business closed??? What is the NET GAIN? That will tell the real story.
  • by Michael Location: Lansing on Sep 23, 2010 at 03:27 PM
    Of those businesses that open up; how long do they last?....Downtown is nothing more than eateries and bars. Great for the lunchtime crowd and nighttime partiers. I know we cannot go back to the days when Knapps, Arboughs and other retailers were there, but there needs to be some kind of draw for those that do not come just to eat or drink. Think aboout the ones (businesses) that were there for so long and why they pulled up roots and left. I work downtown....the students and poloticians go on break, it's a ghost town. Bring back Blues on the Square or Cruise The Gut....Entertainment as a whole.
  • by Scott Location: Lansing on Sep 23, 2010 at 02:25 PM
    I like this much better than all of the junk in Old Town. Nothing like low quality local art, dope shops and terribly overpriced popcorn for people to waste their money on.
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