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City of Lansing works to bring new life to downtown

City of Lansing work to bring new life to downtown
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 10:20 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan’s Capital is working to bring more attraction to its downtown by adding larger events and new businesses to the area hit hard by the pandemic.

Related: Lansing plans to bring businesses back, revitalize downtown

“If you tried it before, it’s probably different than how you remember,” said Downtown Community Development director Julie Reinhardt.

The Downtown Community Development is working to redesign Downtown Lansing by adding larger events to the calendar and opening more restaurants. Reinhardt said the goal is to change what downtown was before to create a 24/7 experience.

“We were able to function serving our daytime worker -- particular the lunchtime crowd,” Reinhardt said. “And over time, we lost a lot of our retail and our fun night activities. So given this once-in-a-lifetime chance to redesign it. We are very cognizant of the fact that we need fun things to do at night.”

Downtown residents and visitors alike can also expect upgraded parks, live music opportunities, and more retail businesses.

“Downtown is vibing. We are on a whole new level,” said CocoBella Fashion Boutique owner Bee Monique. “The pandemic is over. We are ready to live again and we are ready to get out and enjoy life so why wouldn’t I open in downtown Lansing.

Monique, a mother, and entrepreneur specializes in everything fashion with a mission to make women feel their best. She not only encourages shoppers to support downtown businesses, but also to invest in everything local.

“Lansing is my hometown. Downtown westside is where I’m from. I was born and raised,” Monique said. “This is my home. It’s very important for us to be seen and heard.”

The City of Lansing also has plans to add a large entertainment venue at the southwest corner of South Washington Square and Lenawee Street. The project is expected to cost the city $21 million. Money has already been secured from the state and they are now collecting the rest from private donors and grants.

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