Downtown Lansing: A Community that Stands on Business | Response to the Detroit Free Press

Written by Cathleen Edgerly, Executive Director of Downtown Lansing Inc., in response to Nancy Kaffer’s piece: Lansing, schmansing — move Michigan’s capital back to Detroit

Downtown Lansing. A downtown that to some – may evoke images of government, lunchtime hot spots, a place to only go for work, or seemingly for the Editor of a popular, well-respected publication – a “Sad” city to disparage for fun.

But to me, along with over 200 business owners and 2200+ residents, Downtown Lansing is a place we call home. Lansing is a place we choose to call home. Every day, we work hard to foster pride and passion and highlight all the reasons to #LoveLansing. And believe me, there are a lot of reasons to love Lansing. Take some time to check out some of these 517 Reasons to Love Lansing.

For Downtown Lansing, we are a community that stands on business, and we know that sometimes the best way to highlight who we are and our core values – is to share what we are NOT. We are a city that does not rely on external opinions for its validity, as it does not have time for self-doubt. It does not exclude, it does not infringe on human rights, and it does not reserve any space for hate. So Nancy, please don’t hate on other cities like you did on Lansing. Instead, celebrate Detroit’s strength and success and shower praise on other cities working hard to cultivate a strong future.

I know that’s what my team at Downtown Lansing Inc. is doing, and so are our neighbors in the wonderful neighborhoods within neighborhoods like REO Town, Old Town, South Lansing neighborhoods, and more. In Lansing, we focus on doing. We roll up our sleeves, tell it like it is, stand up for our people, double down on our values, write our own future, lend a hand to our neighbors, laugh a lot, put down roots, create weird things, know who we are, and seize every opportunity. Most importantly, we look straight ahead — because that’s where we’re going.

So, looking ahead to what GREAT things are happening in Lansing? I’ll speak for Downtown Lansing. True, we were hit hard by the pandemic. Today, we’re building more of a 24/7 experience for our community of change-makers. You’ll find beloved legacy businesses here to shop and dine like Kositcheks, Kewpees, Lansing Art Gallery and The Peanut Shop. Don’t sleep on our newer businesses, such as A Novel Concept, the Shops at Middle Village, Nubian, EnVie and Veg Head. Have you heard about the growing momentum thanks to the Lansing Shuffle, which added a food hall along our river, multiple incubators programs to support our hustling entrepreneurs, or the new concert venues, performance hall and housing developments happening in downtown?

You may have yet to hear, but we are thrilled that Downtown Lansing received recognition as a leader in downtown revitalization! We were named one of the top 2024 Main Street and downtown development agencies in the nation, a testament to all the people, businesses, and partners who have worked hard over the years to make our downtown unique. Our downtown is becoming known as a leader in historic preservation and as an innovator in economic and community development. Lansing is committed to the continued revitalization of our downtowns and neighborhoods.

So Nancy, make visits to Lansing and our Downtown a regular thing. We have several organizations and individuals who would love to personally show you the 517+ reasons why we love where we live and why you should, too. Because here in Downtown Lansing, Michigan’s Downtown, we stand on business, and we’d love to show you around.