Meridian Township Debates Douglas J Expansion Project

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

On Tuesday night, the Meridian Township Board heard opinions from the public on whether or not to allow the Douglas J expansion to move forward.

A local business owner, employees and customers came out to show support for Douglas J's new vision that will include room for a new salon and spa plus residential and retail spaces.

"It's such a quality institution...anything they do is done with style and class," said Celia Guro, a Meridian Township resident and a long time customer at Douglas J.

Guro trusts that the new project will benefit the entire community, but others believe quite the opposite. The proposed expansion at the corner of Okemos and Hamilton roads means several buildings, including the one that houses the Tuba Museum will have to go. That land is currently owned by the bank

"Allow everyone to be successful here and not just one business," said Will White, owner of the Tuba Museum.

He says his store makes up part of the heritage of Downtown Okemos and his side was echoed by a few others at the meeting.

"You jump forward and you knock down everything of historical value," said Linda Fausey.

White says he's not against Douglas J's expansion but feels it's unfair he has to close shop to allow it to happen.

Township Supervisor Susan McGillicuddy thinks the proposal meets the community's goals. The board is expected to vote on whether or not to allow the project to move forward at its meeting on September 18th.

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  • by History is Important Location: Location on Oct 26, 2012 at 10:52 AM
    Growth is important, but at what expense and how much to we get rid of to satisfy the rich. Disposable items is what this business offers, so lets dispose of pieces of history, which there is so little left of what Old Okemos was established on. For that location, it is such a small area for a business that is so large and the cross section of road is meager compared to the traffic it will stir up even more. Why is it other little towns are street scaping to beautify what once was and Okemos/Meridian officials keep finding ways to tear down and make new. Preserve something except the few buildings that have survived over at the Township offices. For that matter, why don't they just flatten the whole 4 corners and make that a traffic circle. All Okemos is known for any more is shopping centers, rich snobby kids, and a quick commute for the MSU employees. We don't have heritage, that was taken away when Chief Okemos was tossed aside because we were dishonoring the Native American people by having a Chieftain as our mascot. All I know is I worked hard when I was a kid to earn a beautiful portrait of Chief Okemos and have it put on our school wall to honor what our town was based on in the first place and I was proud of that. What have we learned from history when you destroy history.
  • by been ripped off by D.J on Sep 6, 2012 at 11:00 PM
    This company makes promises to students that never happens. Pay the 10,000.00 tuition, service D.J's customers and the student pays for supplies, work for nothing and buy supplies. In the end, they get a piece of paper and are turned loose on the streets to a industry without work. Big promises and dreams, savings accounts depleted..Its a Scam only the owners make money from.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Sep 13, 2012 at 04:17 PM in reply to been ripped off by D.J
      Welcome to the real's called college and internship, don't know too many other professions that you pay that much for tuition to may $60 per hour! Yep, all lies:) this has nothing to do with the story!!
  • by Leroy Location: Okemos on Sep 6, 2012 at 07:16 AM
    Just a Process Check, the guy who runs the businesses defaulted on his loans with the bank, he now has no say. As for the historic value of this site, it has decent food, no parking and terrible service, I can get that anywhere. Those who want to keep this place need to pony up the funds to buy it back from the bank and then plan to send monthly checks to keep it afloat. If the "preservationist" are not willing to do this, then find another cause.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 5, 2012 at 07:19 AM
    Great thinking opposition, lets hold back a company from growing creating the potential for jobs and tax revenue for the community. Douglas J., If I were you if they declined this, I would pack up and move to a community that welcomes growth and development without having to go through the tree hugging red tape of Meridian Township. Honestly, I've never even heard of Tuba and have lived here for several years. Growth and development is not a bad thing when its creating jobs and bringing people to our community increasing our tax base. Small government, please don't act like your big brothers in doesn't work, the last 4 years has showed us that plan.
    • reply
      by Will Tyler White on Sep 5, 2012 at 03:02 PM in reply to
      Not very good advice from an anonymous person who has only lived here a few years and doesn't have a clue about the history of the area. No one wants to hold back Douglas J, but his expansion plans were originally for the vacant library space across the street owned by the Township. Growth and development IS a bad thing when it destroys historic, landmark buildings and closes 3 business so 1 can expand (a net loss of jobs). Especially since it is unnecessary, as there is an alternative that allows all businesses in the downtown to expand for a much greater tax base and even more employment. Too bad the shortsighted Township Board does not want to consider what is best for all the stakeholders.
      • reply
        by Doug on Sep 5, 2012 at 06:16 PM in reply to Will Tyler White
        Not sure what my name or anonymity has anything to do with discussion, but if you really need to know my name is Doug and have been paying taxes here for 10 years. there is no question history is and should be a part of our community but so should a free market society and if the bank that owns the land wants to sell for development and it meets zoning codes than the government should have no say in the matter other than their opinion. Again my OPINION, but I'm pretty sure DJ will bring more to this community than the 3 other businesses....this means those people will go to local restaurants, local shops, the mall, etc...all businesses that pay taxes. Maybe if we allow this we'll actually have enough to complete a road project rather than a bike trail....or how about some snow plowed roads. Growth IS good my friend, just have to look at the bigger picture, not only does it create jobs for DJ but many other local businesses. Respectfully
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