Shopping Hub Struggling

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Driving down Saginaw Highway into Delta Township, it's one empty building after another.

"From Waverly to Elmwood is one of the key problem areas that we're looking to address," says Township Supervisor Ken Fletcher. "There's a lot of vacancies in that area."

Cheeseburger in Paradise, now not so Utopian.

The Red Cedar Grill at the Lansing Mall closed this week.

"One of the places that consumers cut back is discretionary spending, such as eating out, so it does put pressure on those retailers," Fletcher explains.

A sprawling bright spot on Saginaw--undeveloped. And Fletcher says there are no specific plans to develop it. Stores at the Lansing Mall are struggling, like Steve and Barry's: going out of business.

"A few stores have been going out of business and they're really concerned the mall might close in general," says Jacqui Becker, who works at Campus Den at the Lansing Mall.

Fletcher says the mall's parent company is bankrupt. But as for rumors running rampant that the mall is closing?

"There's no truth to those rumors at all--the Lansing Mall has a 95 percent occupancy rate, the property is going quite well," says Fletcher.

But tell that to those who work inside.

"It's very empty here," Becker says. "I would say traffic flow is reduced a lot because people just don't have the money to spend."

Though Fletcher doesn't foresee it, he says the mall's closing would be catastrophic for Delta Township.

"A closure of the entire mall would be devastating," Fletcher says. "They're the primary commercial hub for the Township, they're our main street so to speak."

A main street, and a township, Fletcher believes has a bright future.

"We just need to weather through this recession right now and help those businesses stay in business over this time period," he says.

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