Douglas J brownfield redevelopment: approved

By Merinda Valley
Meridian Times staff writer

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP — The Ingham County Board of Commissioners has approved the Douglas J brownfield redevelopment project for the property in downtown Okemos. The Douglas J salon is now eligible for reimbursement of up to $328,900 to clean up contaminants in the site’s soil and buildings, and demolish the former Travelers Club, Triple Goddess Bookstore and White Bros. Music. The Ingham County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will fund the project through a local tax capture that is projected to begin in 2014 and end in 2017. Following the cleanup, construction of Douglas J’s new salon, and office, residential and retail space will begin.

Township board discusses how much contamination is too much

By Merinda Valley
Meridian Times staff writer

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP — Contamination levels on the Douglas J Salon and Day Spa development site were a point of contention for several trustees at the Meridian Township board meeting Feb. 5. The Township Board questioned representatives of the Ingham County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and Triterra, the company that assisted the county in preparing the brownfield proposal on behalf of Douglas J.

“I do not personally see this as a highly contaminated site,” Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus said. “I see one boring location and that wasn’t on the site where the Travelers Club is located or where the Triple Goddess building is, it’s actually located on the vacant land.”

A diagram included in the brownfield plan showed that of 32 bore holes drilled to test the soil only one was contaminated. “Eleven parts per million is the level of contamination,” said Trustee John Veenstra.

Tuba Museum starts to make way for Douglas J

OKEMOS–Workers excavated and then cut up a heating oil tank buried behind the Travelers Club International Restaurant & Tuba Museum on Wednesday, Jan. 23. The excavation is an early step in a project that will bring a Douglas J Salon and Day Spa expansion to the northwest corner of Hamilton and Okemos roads, known as the Four Corners. The development will replace the restaurant, White Brothers Music and Triple Goddess Bookstore, which is in the background of the photo. The bookstore building dates to 1870 and is on the state’s historic register as the Dr. James F. Smiley House.

Razing Tuba Museum will change character of crossroads

By Lauren Evasic
Meridian Time staff writer

OKEMOS — After 30 years of service, the Travelers Club International Restaurant & Tuba Museum will close during the second week of November, said owner William White. According to White, there are plans to tear down the building, located on the northwest corner of Hamilton and Okemos roads, as well as several other buildings including White Brothers Music and Triple Goddess Bookstore to construct new buildings for the Douglas J Salon and Day Spa expansion project. Douglas J President Scott Weaver said the business has been approved to put up their building and that Douglas J Housing Okemos LLC plans to begin demolition spring 2013. Though the restaurant is set to close, White started an online petition in hopes to reopen. “We’re always hoping to (reopen), but you never know,” said White.

Young and old businesses receive recognition

By Alyssa Firth
Meridian Times staff writer

Oscars weren’t the only awards handed out this past weekend. Two local businesses have received awards from the Meridian Asset Resource Center. Maru Sushi & Grill restaurant has received the emerging entrepreneur award and the heritage award went to Douglas J Salon and Day Spa. Established in 2008, MARC came out of MSU Extension and provides a number of opportunities and materials for businesses in Meridian Township. “The MARC is basically a collection of resources to both encourage entrepreneurship and help entrepreneurs,” business consultant Gordon Ferguson said.