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Main Street Difference

Energizing our community through a robust, national framework. That’s the Main Street difference.

As a Main Street community, we believe that the roads into our city must be exciting and robust. We also believe that the roads out of our city should spread our unique story, enhance perception by exceeding expectations, and thereby grow our reputation as a world-class Capital City.

Downtown Lansing Inc. takes a smart, common-sense approach to building a vibrant Lansing through our nationally accredited Main Street program — an initiative to enhance historic preservation, community self-reliance, and local ownership, as part of a national and statewide network. Our goal as a Main Street community is to strengthen the social and economic health of our downtown and our community.

What is a Main Street Community?

The Michigan Main Street program is a state-driven initiative dedicated to revitalizing and preserving the economic vitality of traditional downtowns and neighborhoods in Michigan. As a part of Main Street America (a national program), Michigan Main Street provides communities with resources, expertise, and support to enhance their downtown areas, fostering economic development and community engagement. In February 2013, Downtown Lansing became a designated Michigan Main Street community by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and is proud to continue partnering with the program through community investment tools and educational resources.

The Four Point Approach

The Main Street “Four-Point Approach” framework provides a proven comprehensive downtown revitalization strategy for traditional commercial districts. At Downtown Lansing Inc., we implement these through our dedication to each of the four areas, with specific committees designated to support each goal.

Community organization involves creating a strong foundation for sustainable revitalization efforts, including cultivating partnerships, fund development, community involvement, and resources for the district. DLI’s Organization Committee oversees the planning, development, and management of foundational projects such as volunteer recruitment, fundraising, and storytelling.


Effective promotion is necessary for positioning our commercial district as the center of the community, while creating a positive image that showcases a community’s unique characteristics. DLI’s Promotions Committee leads events and communications that shape downtown experiences through new downtown awareness events and marketing campaigns.

Economic Vitality

Economic vitality focuses on the capital, incentives, and other economic and financial tools that are essential in assisting new and existing businesses, catalyzing property development, and creating a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and innovators that drive local economies. To achieve this, DLI’s Business Development Committee supports and communicates with our downtown business owners, as well as working with property owners on new and exciting developments downtown.


Design is critical for leading a community’s transformation by enhancing the physical and visual assets that set the commercial district apart. DLI’s Design & Public Spaces Committee supports every corner of Downtown Lansing’s visual impact through design, activation, and beautification of public spaces.

Why Main Streets Matter

One of the benefits of being a designated Michigan Main Street is having the ability to follow an effective model, and personalizing this framework to succeed within our local environment. Main Street provides Downtown Lansing Inc. with tools, education, and expansion models to build upon those tools for the long term. Main Streets teaches us how to foster community investment, passion, and pride from our community for years and years to come.

Utilizing the Main Street Four-Point Approach, DLI is growing to be an organization highly self-reliant with representation and involvement from a broad cross-section of the community. We have accomplished this through an innovation program, downtown revitalization, promotions and planning for the future of Downtown Lansing while honoring its past. In 2024, DLI’s efforts to uphold the Main Streets model were recognized as a Top 10 Great American Main Street Award semi-finalist and downtown development agency — and we look forward to exploring this model as our community grows.