With new buildings coming into Old Town this past year, Old Town has expanded its borders to the biggest it has ever been. Although why are these businesses heading to Old Town to start? One draw is that Old Town is known for being a very artistic and hipster type of town with many common coffee shops and young fashion-type of stores. Recently, two new establishments have opened known as The Grid Arcade and Bar that includes an arcade inside a bar, which is something different than what Old Town has had in the past. Also opening was the Ozone’s Brewhouse that recently opened last spring, which is located on 305 Beaver St.
With Old Town looking to expand in 2017, some residents are concerned with businesses renting and buying out recently-closed restaurants or retail stores near them and using the ground-level storefronts for office space. Old Town is filled with vibrant, exclusive, and unique shops. However, there has been some controversy when there is a vacant building that recently just closed, as some businesses tend to rent out that building for office space instead of letting other future shops rent or buy it out, according to some residents. Andrea Kerbuski, a frequent Old Town customer, wishes there were more different options such as quick restaurants and other different shops. She hopes that some businesses will try to transition office spaces to upstairs spaces to create more retail and restaurant space at the street level.
Paintings, murals, start-up businesses, and the club life, are just some of the few things that makes Lansing’s Old Town neighborhood one of the top places to expand young professional connections as they start their new careers.
The successful events and volunteer service in the past year has been nothing but amazing for the citizens of Old Town. However, it is ready for the next step of expanding. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Lansing’s unemployment rate has dropped nearly 10 percent over the past 10 years, however in cities like Detroit it remains at 12 percent. With families being brought in from the city because of how expensive it is to live there, Old Town must look toward to the future and expand. The main goal of Old Town business leadership for 2017 is deciding whether or not they should expand its boundary physically or the overall perception of it.