Ace Hardware and Mitten Raised Bakery are few of many businesses in Downtown Okemos that have now closed, leaving the area lifeless and uninhabited.
Bottoms Up dancewear shop is one of the last businesses still afloat, but not for much longer.
“It just seemed like a good time to go. It was such a hard decision to leave our lovely customers, but after working so many long hours all these years, it is time for a new adventure,” Bottoms Up owner, Sherry Fisher, said.
After 40 years, Fisher will be moving to Florida to start a new life.
She says it’s time for her to retire after all the hard work she has given the community all these years.
With so many businesses leaving and new developments underway, she is hoping that whoever buys her spot will treat it with the love she has had for it all these years.
She’s been careful to keep what all the local dance schools require for class and performances to ensure she has everything they need.
Lines have been out the door for the past week, after finding out she is closing, dancers and theatre kids, stocking up on everything they need before she goes.
“It’s sad to see her go, because I have been coming here since I was five,” a Bottoms Up customer said.
Chris Buck, Meridian Township economic development director, knows that some areas in Downtown Okemos are underdeveloped, but he is working on getting approval to attract more developers to build in the Downtown Okemos area.
“Meridian Township has so much going for it, but these three areas are just under performing by our standards,” he said.
Mitten Raised Bakery, now located in East Lansing, is doing much better business wise after moving for the downtown area.
The owner, Katie, is from the East Lansing area and wanted to return to her roots, now with more help from the surrounding college kids she is loving the new location.
“We were ashamed to loose Mitten Raised, I know they found a new home just outside our townships lines,” Buck said.
The township board meeting on Tuesday May 1st, 2018 will be the official date on the decision of whether or not downtown will be expecting new businesses.