LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Big changes are coming to downtown Lansing as developers bring a new urban market and hotel to the area.
It’s the first grocery store coming to downtown Lansing in decades.
City officials and developer Pat Gillespie announced the plans this afternoon, that include the development of a 150,000 square foot hotel, market, apartments.
While it may look like an empty parking lot now, it will soon be home to more than one hundred and fifty hotel rooms and apartments, which will be right above a grocery store.
Many people are excited about this project because before this, some called the area a food desert.
“I worked in downtown Lansing, and I became concerned that I had no easy access to a grocery store,” said Emily Schwarzkopf of the Michigan League for Public Policy.
Three years ago, Schwarzkopf says an idea sparked in her head.
“I actually had contacted then representative Schor’s office,” said Schwarzkopf.
Schwarzkopf says she considered downtown Lansing a food desert, meaning it’s not easy to get access to fresh groceries, and while she may have a car, many others who live in the area do not.
“Not everyone was afforded that opportunity to just hop in their car and go to the grocery store,” said Schwarzkopf.
Between then and now, Mayor Andy Schor says his conversation with Schwarzkopf inspired him to make a change.
“Before I got elected, we had people say, ‘I want to move to the downtown, I want to live in a walkable community, but I don’t have a grocery store,’” said Schor.
The new project by Gillespie Group is more than 150,000 square feet and includes an urban market, hotel, and apartments.
“I can’t wait for this to go up, we’re going to start all the processes but this is going to happen for Lansing,” said Schor.
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow has worked for Michigan since 1975 and says this growth is something she’s been looking forward to for a long time.
“It’s so meaningful and so exciting, we’ve gone through so many changes,” said Stabenow.
And for those like Schwarzkopf who used to travel far to buy groceries, they will soon have access right down the street.
“Lansing’s really been growing for the past couple of years and I just think this will really be a good addition,” said Schwarzkopf.
The new grocery store is driven by Meijer and will be called the Capital City Market. Construction begins in spring 2019, with doors expecting to open at the end of 2020.
A major announcement is being hailed as an idea that will transform downtown Lansing.
Plans were unveiled to build a 37,000 square foot urban Meijer store at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Larch Street.
Called the “Capital City Market”, the four-acre site will include a 120 room hotel and 36 apartments.
The hotel will be built about the grocery store.
This marks the first grocery store to locate in downtown Lansing in decades.
6 News reporter Dana Whyte is at the announcement and will update this story online and on 6 News.