Optimism About Eastwood Towne Center Expansion

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"This development isn't just Lansing Township's development. It's the region's development. It's mid-Michigan's development," said John Daher, Lansing Township Supervisor.

It's been named "The Heights at Eastwood," and it'll feature 100,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and entertainment space. And a 124 unit luxury apartment building.

"It'll be very easy for someone to come here, have dinner, say at Tony Sacco's, then go see a concert, then maybe catch a late movie, or go see a concert then go to the bar for some dancing," said Chuck Senatore, CEO of TSP Management Group. He's excited to develop the town he grew up in.

"Not only are we going to provide great food to people, but in a fun, enjoyable, exciting atmosphere," Senatore said.

One building is 86 percent leased, and the space under the parking deck is 60 percent leased. Developers say they're looking for destination restaurants not in the market.

"Bringing Tony Sacco's in here as a pizza restaurant, there's no family dining pizza restaurant north of 496," said Steven Hayward, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority.

Other new tenants will include an upscale steak, seafood, and wine bar; a Spanish-latin fusion restaurant; a restaurant-bar-nighclub; and a large performance venue. It's an ambitious undertaking in a poor economy, but one full of optimism.

"I see the success down the road rather than the failure," said Daher. "The Eastwood Towne Center is still 96 percent full."

In fact, it's never been below that rate of occupancy in its ten years of existence.

Supporters say the project is sustainable because each space can be used for retail or dining.

Once complete, the development will create 500 full and part time jobs. The construction itself has employed about a thousand people off and on.

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