In the nearly 21 years since the Springfield Sultans packed their bags, moved to Downtown Lansing, and became the Lugnuts, the team has seen plenty of ups and downs. This is expected, as their existence as a Single-A team means they must deal with endless roster changes as players get shuffled from level to level as they attempt to make the big leagues. From an abysmal 54-84 season in 2009 to their two Midwest League championships in 1997 and 2003, the team’s on-field success has been unpredictable. It’s been much easier to track the Lugnuts’ success in a different area: community development. Since the former Oldsmobile Park was constructed in 1996, locals and team officials alike believe the team has brought more than the game of baseball to the city of Lansing.
Two new hotels and a potential apartment complex coming to Eastwood Towne Center could be the foundation of economic growth for the area, as the lifestyle center on the northwest side of Lansing Township continues plans for expansion. Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes said last month that a Holiday Inn and a Hilton Homewood Suites would be constructed behind the NCG Eastwood Cinema. The new plans would already add to the two hotels currently located in the Eastwood complex: a Hyatt Place, which opened last May, and a Fairfield Inn & Suites expected to open later this spring. The Hilton Homewood Suites, part of an Eastwood expansion plan sponsored by the township known as The Heights, has already been under construction since late 2016 will accommodate travelers staying for extended periods of time. According to Hayes, the Holiday Inn will break ground later this spring and will be located west of the Hyatt Place and the Fairfield, kitty-corner to the NCG.
Once a bustling, prosperous community, North Lansing — known today as Old Town — fell into disarray in the second half of the 20th century. However, toward the end of the 20th century and into the 21st century, people in the community began to take an interest in the revitalization of the area, with the hope of restoring it to its former glory. Revitalization of downtown areas is not unique to Lansing. Ken Schroeppel, an expert in downtown revitalization as well as an assistant professor in urban planning at the University of Colorado Denver, said this phenomenon can be seen all over the country. “Up until World War II, cities were vibrant.
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.
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.
By Katie Winkler
Clinton County Chatter staff reporter
ST. JOHNS — Downtown St. Johns can expect a new development in the next year to replace the parking lot on the corner of Higham and Spring streets, parallel to the downtown strip. But not everyone is happy about that. Last winter, city officials of St.
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.
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, 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.
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.