On this edition of Focal Point, Vice President Mike Pence rallies in Grand Rapids while local candidates adjust to campaigning during a pandemic. Local businesses also adapt to stay open. We visit a cider mill, a local bar, and the East Lansing Farmer’s Market to see how they are opening safely. One East Lansing bookstore is still in business because of support from the community. All those stories and more on Focal Point.
In this edition of Focal Point, the director of MSU Museums is suspended for keeping his sources under wraps. Vice President MIke Pence visits Lansing and things are heating up in the Democrats. Michigan’s primary is on March 10, and we speak with Lansing’s city clerk to learn about voting in the primary.
NEW YORK — As more people move into a city, population, housing and overall living expenses seem to go one way—up. Manhattan is no different. People move in, prices increase, and those who have lived in a neighborhood their entire life may find that they can no longer afford it, said Nicole Gelinas a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a local based think tank, and an expert in state and local fiscal policy, along with public transportation and infrastructure. The cost of living has changed significantly over several different time periods, and for different reasons she said. “Since the financial crisis, so we’ll say since 2008, the sales market has certainly increased markedly in prices,” Gelinas said.
EAST LANSING, Mich.- It’s only six weeks into the fall semester at Michigan State University, but students are already looking into housing options for next year. Freshmen who just arrived on campus have settled into things and are making new friends. However, they now have to decide where they want to live for next year, who they want to live with and it has to be done fast. If not, all the houses and apartments will be leased. “It is a little bit of pressure to have to choose so early in the year when you don’t know what you’re going to take next year and who your friends are going to be,” MSU freshman Sarah Presley said.
Presley wants to live with someone who doesn’t attend MSU, her friend goes to community college back home but will transfer next year.
Over the last few years East Lansing, Mich. has seen a drastic increase of apartment complexes. Prior to before there are more options than ever, for East Lansing residents. More and more these apartment are coming with amenities that will have college students at Michigan State University living better than some working adults. Apartment companies like SkyVue , DTN, and Hannah Lofts just to name a few are dominating the millennial housing market in the area.
The city of Lansing is at odds with a proposed new housing development project that will create affordable housing for some families. Over the past two years, there has been a building, located at 1113 N. Washington Ave, that has been waiting to be turned in to a new low-income housing development. There has been a standstill because of the fact that council members feel that there might be some discrimination within the regulations for this housing project. The head of the project, Dr. Sam Saboury, has been trying to find ways to get the project underway. In March, the Lansing City Council rejected Saboury’s request for a 4 percent Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOT, which would have enhanced the prospect of securing the tax credit and being able to start the development.
No later than this spring, Campus Village developers plan to build a new apartment complex on Grand River Avenue in Meridian Township. The actual address where the new complex will be built is 2655 Grand River Ave. According to Greg Schaefer, vice president of operations, the apartments should be available in August of 2017. “We decided to propose this development because we felt there was a need in the market for more housing along the Grand River corridor. With the proposed BRT system along Grand River [Avenue] we feel this is an excellent time to increase density along the corridor by incorporating a mixed-use design with some of the existing retail.
Delhi Charter Township has started an initiative called Realize Cedar and they are looking towards its residents for new ideas on how to improve Holt’s downtown area, specifically the triangle of Cedar Street, Holt Road and Aurelius Road. The study has three ways people can give input; offer a big idea, prioritize goals, and answer poll questions. The former allows people to write the township. Prioritize goals lets residents of the area tell the township what is most important to them. Finally ,the poll lets citizens vote and see the results of important considerations such as retail, bike paths, larger sidewalks and restaurants.
By Jaylyn Galloway
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter
The former high school building that served as the Michigan School for the Blind campus along with the Abigail building will be redone as apartment buildings, according to Bob Johnson director of Planning & Neighborhood Development for the City of Lansing. The idea is to demolish the auditorium to create new multi-family apartment units and to redo the Abigail building and the old high school as senior housing, Johnson said. “We need to understand that affordable housing is capital and it will create economy for business,” Johnson said. With the aim of creating 60 units for seniors and 72 units for families the project total would end up costing $24.4 million. However, it would bring 150 jobs during the construction, Edmistion said.
By Cynthia Lee
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter
When first entering Old Town, at first it can be considered an inviting neighborhood. After touring an area filled with booming businesses, clean streets, upscale townhouses you reach the end of the street, and it all comes to a screeching halt entering the poverty-stricken area of Lansing. With newly high-end homes right next door to old low-income housing, Old Town is a prime example of gentrification. But is that a bad thing? Lansing resident William Blanchard doesn’t think it is.