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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