In an era of fading downtowns, the numbers prove Grand Ledge’s downtown is growing

By Peter Nuttall
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter

Over the past few years Grand Ledge has seen a disappearance of shops, specifically in their downtown area. With buildings open for rent, Grand Ledge City Administrator Adam Smith said that they are always open to the idea of new businesses coming in. “The city is always looking for businesses to come into our town looking to make a good positive investment and impact in the community,” he said. Grand Ledge Mayor Kalmin Smith said the building of the Eastwood Towne Center and the Frandor Shopping Center in nearby Lansing hurt some stores and businesses that used to be downtown. “Before the growth of Lansing, Grand Ledge was a separate little city and it had a vibrant downtown providing just about everything,” he said.

Midway Early Learning Center brings new opportunities for Holt's youngest residents

By Catherine Ferland
Holt Journal Staff Reporter

Eighty-five percent of a child’s brain development occurs before they enter kindergarten. Enrollment in early childhood education centers has been proven to increase a child’s chances of graduating high school, finding stable employment and decrease their chances of teen parenthood, crime and a need for welfare. According to a study put out by the Rauch Foundation, only 14 percent of public education funding is spent on early childhood education in the United States. Last year, Holt joined the ranks of the few early childhood learning centers in the U.S. and Michigan when they changed Midway Elementary into Midway Early Learning Center. Holt Public Schools Superintendent David Hornak said, “The beauty behind that is schools typically are closing gaps that are created from birth to five based on whatever circumstances.

Big changes coming to Holt in the future

By Carrie Lynch
Holt Journal staff reporter

Director of Community Development Tracy Miller proposed an idea to extend TIF plans from 2024 to 2036 for the future development of Holt.

The Downtown Development Authority Board of Delhi Township proposed this idea at the board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29. in order to get the city of Holt more economically stable as well as a close knit community. Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, is a tool for local governments to help restore a rundown area of a community or help revive the economically sluggish parts a city.  When a city establishes a TIF, excess tax money gets redirected towards the reconstruction of whatever the city is in need of. As a town develops, the tax revenue increases, leaving more money for future development.

Montgomery Drain complicates Red Cedar Renaissance project

by Kyna Garrett
Lansing Star StaffWriter

The Red Cedar Renaissance project is still in its early stages, as it continues to battle difficulties with development of the site. The project involves LEAP, Ferguson Development and Continental Real Estate of Columbus, Ohio, in an effort to build a residential and commercial space in the old Red Cedar Golf Course, which sits on the polluted Montgomery Drain off of Michigan Avenue. According to Ingham County Drain Commissioner Patrick Lindemann,  “The Red Cedar Renaissance takes place in the heart of what is called the Montgomery Drain. It is one of the most polluted discharges from the Red Cedar River.”

Lindemann said the drain, which has existed since 1902, has gone through many evolutions and could cause problems with flooding while developing the site, though he hopes to work with the water and incorporate it in the development. “In order to fix that pollution problem, we would rebuild the drain and bring it up to today’s standards,” Lindemann said. “In order to do that, it requires ripping up a whole bunch of land and redoing the drain in such a way that may be interfering with any development that would have to take place later.”

Lindemann said building up the site into a residential and commercial area while also rebuilding the drain would save money.

Grand Ledge’s unusually long construction season ends

By Eric Finkler

Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

GRAND LEDGE, MI – Equipment is put away, roads are cleared, and dust is settled as the lengthy construction project in Grand Ledge that has been afflicting drivers and residents is finished. Beginning on May 21, Mayor Smith said, Grand Ledge faced its largest construction effort since the High Bridge project in 1888. After seven months of detours and unknown traffic conditions, residents and visitors became construction free three weeks ago in the middle of November. Cause for construction

The intersection of South Bridge and South Jefferson streets the roads needed to be upgraded to the Americans with Disabilities Act. This then lead to a full-scale update of underground water mains, sewage pipes, storm sewage pipes, gas lines and even wider sidewalks.

The current site of the proposed City Center II redevelopment project still sits vacant and untouched.

City Center II Delayed Again

Some five months after the predevelopment agreement had been signed and demolition was scheduled to begin, the future site of the proposed City Center II redevelopment project still sits vacant and untouched. City officials argue it wasn’t in the residents and tax payer’s best interests to move forward with the plan proposed last spring. “As we looked at the financial projections for the project, the changes in property values and the future projections, we felt that the project from a financial standpoint simply wasn’t feasible,” said Tim Dempsey, the East Lansing planning and community development director. Now the focus is turning to drawing up new proposals for the site and searching for new developers. The former development company Strathmore is no longer involved with the project going forward.