Large commercial areas in Lansing Township contrast with residential areas

By Grant Essenmacher
Lansing Township News Staff Reporter

With just under five square miles of land, Lansing Township has only 8,126 residents according to the 2010 U.S Census. The residential areas of the township have become obsolete and big business chains have moved in. The contrast between large commercial shopping areas and the smaller, less developed residential areas of Lansing Township is stark. Many chain businesses have relocated to the township, while apartment complexes and smaller neighborhoods have become more popular. Jason Mullen, a Lansing Township resident and frequent shopper at Eastwood Towne Center, has noticed the difference between the two.

Retailers lose suit against Marathon

By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Three small retailers in Southwest Detroit have lost their federal lawsuit that blames an oil refinery for killing their businesses and creating environmental hazards. U.S. District Judge Patrick Duggan found no legal basis for claims against the refinery operator, Marathon Petroleum Co. At the center of the conflict is the impact on the Oakwood Heights neighborhood of Marathon’s Detroit Heavy Oil Upgrade Project that began operations in November 2012. The affected area is south of Fort Street, the River Rouge, South Dix Street and Schaefer Highway near Interstate-75. The refinery is the only one in Michigan and has about 525 employees.

Merchants push shopping local this holiday season

By BECKY McKENDRY
Capital News Service
LANSING – The forecast for this holiday looks to be a steady sprinkle of revenue for Michigan retailers, as local stores work to provide customer service that Internet merchants can’t offer. The Michigan Retail Index predicts an increase in holiday sales, up 1.3 percent from last year. Although that increase isn’t ideal, it is still a moderate bump that shows “cautious optimism,” said Tom Scott of the Michigan Retailers Association. “The actual numbers may turn out even better than that,” Scott said. “That survey was taken during the government shutdown when there was a lot of uncertainty.”
One important step to ensuring a jolly season for retailers: encouraging shoppers to think twice ordering online.

Holidays shaping up well for Michigan retailers

By LAUREN GIBBONS
Capital News Service
LANSING — Snowy weather and holiday cheer might seem far off for most shoppers, but Michigan retailers are already optimistic about a shopping season that experts say could be the most fruitful in more than a decade. October, November and December make up a key sales period for retail businesses, often accounting for at least 20 to 30 percent of total annual sales, Michigan Retailers Association senior vice president Tom Scott said. Scott said the past few years have gone well for retailers, but projections from the latest Michigan Retail Index by the association and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago indicate retailers are much more confident about sales increases than in the past. The report indicated 43 percent of the state’s retailers on average expect an increase of more than 5 percent from last year, and another 32 percent expect increases lower than 5 percent. An increase in confidence among shoppers likely correlates with an increase in consumer confidence as the economy improves, said Paul Isley, chair of the economics department at Grand Valley State University.