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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