Douglas J Proposes New Development in Okemos

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

The owner of Douglas J, Scott Weaver, is hoping to break ground on a business expansion at the corner of Hamilton and Okemos Roads.

"To have a downtown that's more shopable, more walkable like some of the other communities we see throughout the state," said Weaver.

The proposed development includes space for a new Douglas J facility as well as another mixed use building with retail and residential spaces.

"I think for the community it's going to bring a tremendous amount of new traffic. It'll create new jobs that are down here, obviously throughout all the construction there will be jobs created," said Weaver.

However, the expansion would eat up property that's home to several long standing businesses, including the Traveler's Club International Restaurant and Tuba Museum. The owner, Will White, started a petition to try and stop the development. He says the issue for him is personal.

"All my tubas I collected over the years. We've made a lot of friends here, some of our employees got married, they met each other here," White said.

He says closing the shop would mean taking away a cultural heritage from Okemos. At the same time, Weaver said his business has long been a part of the local community and a new development would help remake Downtown Okemos.

The property at the corner of Hamilton and Okemos Roads is owned by the bank. The Meridian Township Board of Trustees is expected to hear comments from the public at its next meeting on September 4th.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Josh on Aug 22, 2012 at 01:44 PM
    There is no such thing as "downtown Okemos", and if there was, who would be walking there to make it more "walkable". It's fine if this guy wants to front some cash to buy up the property and build whatever he wants, but it sounds to me like he's throwing out all of those buzzwords that get local government interested in subsidizing business deals.
  • by nick Location: okemos on Aug 22, 2012 at 10:05 AM
    That intersection is already a cluster. There's plenty of room elsewhere and plenty of currently vacant buildings you could use! Leave our history in "downtown" Okemos alone.
  • by glenn Location: East Lansing on Aug 22, 2012 at 07:16 AM
    "and a new development woould help remake Downtown Okemos" Dear LSJ, 'woould' like to see you improve your spelling.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 22, 2012 at 06:38 AM
    The idea that there is a "downtown" in Okemos is a joke. The intersection of Okemos and Hamilton consists of the tuba restaurant (that no one goes to anymore and has been behind in paying their taxes for years), a karate school, a bank and a "exercise wear" (read: lingerie) store. There's also a pizza place, a tanning salon, a pottery place, an instrument shop and the Meridian police. People pass by all of that to go to the Meridian Mall and all the strip malls around it. Let them do something to the area, or let Lansing take it over since it's not really a town and more just a collection of rich snobs in one area.
  • by bird Location: lansing on Aug 22, 2012 at 05:27 AM
    I think it would be great to have a new Douglas J Salon in Okemos. The one they currently have is so hidden. I am not a big fan of tubas anyways. I hate to see a little building like that stand in the way of a new modern downtown Okemos. Just saying.
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