Planning Commission approves bank proposal

The Meridian Township Planning Commission discussed plans for a new bank that if approved for rezoning will be located at the Meridian Mall in front of Macy’s. The proposal states the building will encompass 2,500 square feet, feature two drive-thru tellers and one ATM lane. The bank will also include 25 parking spots and two access driveways that will connect to the southside of Mall Drive. Construction will begin in 2021. 

The proposed location at 1982 Grand River Ave. Okemos, Michigan.

New large dog park opens in Meridian Township

The entrance to the Meridian Large Dog Park, located at 1990 Central Park Dr. in Okemos, is open to residents of the township and non-residents. Online registration is now available for Meridian Township’s dog parks, including a new off-leash large dog park. The new park, which opened in September, is located behind the mall at Central Park South. The large dog park is for dogs over 30 pounds, while the small dog park, which opened June 2019, is located at Nancy Moore Park at 1960 Gaylord C Smith Ct., East Lansing, is for dogs under 30 pounds. About 100 dogs registered for the large dog park and 250 registered for the small dog park, said Parks and Recreation Director LuAnn Meisner. 

Annual park fee

According to a press release, owners registering their dog will pay an annual fee to maintain the parks’ high standards.

Meridian Mall stores sustain sales amidst COVID-19

The Meridian Mall Food Court entrance has the mall’s COVID-19 protective measures and protocols posted on it. (Photo/Isaiah Hall)

While there were challenges of operating a business during the pandemic, retailers in the Meridian Mall have been able to sustain their business because of its transition to new customer service approaches. 

“The closures also provided an opportunity for innovation,” said Stacey Keating, senior director of public relations & corporate communications at CBL Properties, the Tennessee-based company that owns the Meridian Mall. “Many retailers quickly launched curbside delivery programs and restaurants ramped up their delivery and curbside takeout options. “New delivery and curbside programs are continuing to evolve and we expect this to be a trend into the holiday season and beyond. As restrictions were lifted and malls reopened, we’ve seen traffic slowly build, and retailers have reported that sales are healthy and conversion rates are high.”

Shoppers have more cash

Businesses in the mall credit part of the reason why the conversion rates — the percentage of users who visit the mall who purchase goods or services — are high is that people have more money in their pockets, said Kris Vezino, Meridian Mall Sunglass Hut Store manager.

Lyssa Kay Adams’ latest book inspires fans to read more romance

Once a journalist and now a full-time romance novel writer, meet Lyssa Kay Adams. Photo by Julian Stainback. Lyssa Kay Adams wasn’t always into romance novels until she read her first one in the eighth grade. She was inspired to create more romance novels on her own ever since.  

Adams was an award-winning journalist of nearly 20 years who gave up the world of telling true stories to write her own romance novels. 

Some of her novels have gotten nominations by the RWA, or Romance Writers of America, like “Wild in Rio” and “Seventh Inning Heat.” Since then, she has been a full-time writer for romance. 

Her latest book, “The Bromance Book Club,” made its debut at Schuler Books in Okemos on Nov. 6.   

With romance and a little comedy, Adams expects her latest book to give everyone an important lesson to learn.

Meridian Mall looks to avoid the growing list of dead malls

Think back to the days you rode with your parents and friends to the mall, excited to finally buy that cool new pair of shoes or an outfit. You were greeted with the smell of warm pretzels at the food court and the sound of cheerful kids running around in the play area and arcade. The mall was the town’s hotspot, and now they’re closing faster than ever. Meridian Mall now battles the struggle of losing stores to online shopping. Dead — or malls with a high vacancy rate — are often due to advances in technology, online shopping and delivery services.

The Meridian Winter Farmers’ Market has features you don’t want to miss

Local products, fresh food, and wine. These are the many benefits of the Meridian Winter Farmers’ Market. Benefits township residents may want to take advantage of. Meridian Township keeps its farmers’ market schedule active during the cold months from December through April. The township hosts its indoor winter farmers’ market on the first and third Saturdays of each month in meridian mall.

New Launch Trampoline Park could affect other Meridian Mall attractions

A new near 32,000 square foot trampoline park is headed to Meridian Mall in the summer. The arrival is highly anticipated for current store managers, but the new park could affect the success of current attractions in the mall for better or worse. Meridian Mall is home to many popular stores such as JCPenney, Macy’s, Yonkers, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Outside of the stores, however, the mall is also home to a variety of physical attractions for people of various ages. These include Sky High Bungee, Knockerball Entertainment and Extreme Fun.