Ozone's Brewhouse has been very successful ever since it has arrived last Spring. Located on 305 Beaver St. Photo by Joshua chung

Old Town a magnet for unique, non-chain businesses

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.

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Are offices the best use of ground-level storefronts? Some in Old Town think not

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.

Located on the corner of Lake Lansing Road and Preyde Boulevard sits the 332,751 square foot Eastwood Towne Center (Photo/ Madison Job)

Eastwood Towne Center becoming the “center of attention” for mid-Michigan retail

Opened in 2002, Eastwood Towne Center has brought new forms of work and leisure to the residents of Lansing Township. Emily Desrochers, who is the general manager for Eastwood, said that the outdoor shopping center truly is the “center of attention.”

“With a unique lineup already including Forever 21, Sephora, Apple and NCG Cinemas, we continue to look for ways to add as many attractive retailers to support our project and the Lansing community,” Desrochers said. “Supported by our strong lineup of shops, services restaurants and entertainment, Eastwood Towne Center’s target audience is women between the ages 18 to 55.”

In order to maintain community outreach the variety of stores and brands target their own market with social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide the opportunity to deliver the tenants their own tailored communication that reach their entire social community. Aimed at “younger knowledge workers” employee at Victoria’s Secret Rachel Niceveski said she normally sees women in their 30s and 40s who are shopping for their nieces or daughters for a gift or birthday present.

CMU students travel to Eastwood Towne Center to get what they can’t find in Mount Pleasant

Located less than five miles away from Michigan State University, Eastwood Towne Center attracts more shoppers than just Spartans and Lansing natives. Haley Garr, a sophomore at Central Michigan University, said that Eastwood is one of two large-scale shopping centers including Midland Mall that CMU students routinely travel to on the weekends. “The shopping scene in Mount Pleasant is very minimal, we don’t really have any stores and the ones that we do have are all pretty similar,” Garr said. “Mount Pleasant has large scale stores like Meijer, Walmart and Target, but its a lot of the same things everywhere.” According to Garr, CMU students are willing to travel about 60 miles to shop at Eastwood’s trendier clothing stores like Forever 21, American Eagle and Victoria’s Secret.

Slow start for businesses makes for a strong finish

It is a Monday evening around 5 p.m. and Turner Street is very quiet. A few cars are passing by on the road. The Lamb’s Gate Antique shop owner is locking his door. There are scattered street wanderers, but the heart of little Old Town seems empty. Unlike most towns in the area, this is the norm for Old Town.

Sam's Club  
340 E Edgewood Blvd, Lansing,MI 49811

Holt’s shopping district isn’t exactly burgeoning. Who is to blame?

There seems to be mixed feelings among Holt’s officials and residents on how many retail shopping stores there should be in the area and how long they should stay open. Local officials say that Holt has everything it needs while some residents are fed up with driving a few miles down the highway to the closest shopping area. According to Mary Fuller, a Holt resident, local town officials have been promising for years to open a new grocery store closer to her like Meijer for years but she has yet to see any construction for building one. “I moved to Holt in the ’90s because the school district was great and the taxes were lower than East Lansing. I enjoy living here but I have to drive 25 minutes way to the nearest grocery store if I want to pick up a late-night snack.

Al-Lin's Floral & Gifts truck, parked and ready to deliver flowers for the Holiday.

Roses are red, but increased floral sales bring the green

Although they may not have time to stop and smell the roses themselves, local Meridian Township florists are optimistically awaiting this year’s Cupid’s Day sales. Al Vogl, owner of Al-Lin’s Floral & Gifts in Okemos, MI is one of the many owners preparing for the biggest floral holiday of the year. “When Valentine’s Day falls on Tuesday or Wednesday it is the biggest challenge a florist can have, because the weekend before is too soon to celebrate it — and the weekend after is too late to celebrate it, so everybody wants to celebrate it the day of,” said Vogl. “Therefore, the only way they really can do it is send flowers to the office or home, or workplace.”

Vogl is preparing for the extra business by bringing on more staff. Other florists in the Okemos and Haslett area, such as Petal & Forrest, owned by Dawn Hall, and B/A Florist have taken advantage of the upcoming holiday in their own unique ways.