Lansing plans to bring businesses back, revitalize downtown

Lansing plans to bring businesses back, revitalize downtown
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 10:38 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2022 at 11:10 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Shaping the future of Downtown Lansing from the ground up -- That was the message from the State of Downtown address Wednesday.

Related: City of Lansing considering resolution to keep social districts permanent

Business owners from across Lansing gathered Wednesday to discuss how to bring more life to the city’s downtown.

Burcay Gungular is the owner of Social Sloth Cafe and Bakery. She said many business owners are concerned about less and less foot traffic downtown.

“We need more people,” Gungular said. “This is not enough.”

Claps filled the room as business owners were eager to see what the next step is.

“People need to know that there is a community down here of vendors, of merchants that would love to service the Mid-Michigan area,” said Deardra Westfall, owner of Nature’s 92.

More people work from home, including state employees, which has negatively impacted Downtown Lansing, but Downtown Lansing Inc. has a plan.

“We cannot just build a sustainable and vibrant downtown based on primarily one type of worker who adds activity from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday,” said Cathleen Edgerly, the executive director of Downtown Lansing Inc, “We have to get past that and build and program activities for our residents and more of the 24/7 experience overall.”

That’s something Erik Larson, with the Impression 5 Science Center, said is promising.

“It is a massive opportunity. It’s going to take an incredible amount of work. But if the statement is true, all of a sudden there’s a whole lot of open real estate down here that can be repurposed, reimagined and that opportunity creates an opportunity for us to think about Lansing completely differently,” Larson said.

Read more: New owner plans new life for Lansing club with troubled past

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