By STELLA THEVENIN
Capital News Service
The new Eastwood Towne Center is drawing both praises and criticism.
The 65-store mall opened in mid-September on Lake Lansing Road, at U.S 127. It is in Lansing Township between the cities of Lansing and East Lansing Township.
“There are some environmental impacts from the shopping center”, said Donald I. Stypula , manager of environmental affairs for the Michigan Municipal League, which lobbies on behalf of cities and villages throughout the state.
“Lansing and East Lansing tried to address the problems. One of them is traffic concerns like congestion and flow,” Stypula said.
“The new shopping center is a good thing for the community because it was well thought out,” he said.
Stypula said the Lansing Township Board determined through the zoning ordinance that developers could put up that many buildings and have a certain amount of parking.
He also said that the “ordinance helped to protect the look of the mall.”
East Lansing City Council members Bill Sharp and Sam Sing discussed some of the drawbacks of the mall.
Sharp said, “Traffic is the biggest problem right now. A lot of roads have not been completed yet.”
“The significant impact in terms of transportation, but it too early to gauge what that impact will be,” he said.
“One solution to this problem is that traffic needs to be facilitated, to make sure it’s done in an appropriate manner.”
“Both Sing and Sharp agree that despite these drawbacks the Eastwood Towne Center will benefit the East Lansing area.
Sing said this is because “the center will add a new level of opportunities for people to shop and eat.”
The Eastwood Towne Center, because of its central Michigan location, will draw a lot of people from different areas of the state to East Lansing for example cities like Mount Pleasant, Sharp said.
© 2002, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism
By STELLA THEVENIN