Downtown Lansing Inc. Named as 2024 Great American Main Street Award Semifinalist
Downtown Lansing Inc. recognized for outstanding downtown revitalization efforts
LANSING, Mich. (Sept. 27, 2023) — Main Street America has announced Downtown Lansing Inc. (DLI) as a 2024 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) Semifinalist. DLI, the downtown management agency and Main Street organization for Downtown Lansing, was recognized alongside seven other industry-leading national organizations for its outstanding downtown revitalization efforts, demonstrating exemplary use of the Main Street Approach™ to lead community-based transformation strategies in downtown.
Andy Schor, Mayor of Lansing, commented, “Downtown Lansing is one of the best downtowns in America! While we in Lansing know this, I am excited that this has been recognized nationally. Lansing has faced the challenges brought on by the pandemic and we are coming out stronger than ever. More housing, new investments, many small businesses opening, concert halls and amenities, retail and restaurant incubators, and incredible opportunities abound. Being named to the top 8 of all downtowns and Main Street communities shows that the hard work has paid off, but we will not stop there. The DLI staff, board, and volunteers have been working hard with my administration to ensure the future remains bright, and I am so thankful for the work done by everyone here to keep our downtown moving forward.”
This prestigious award is the nation’s top award recognizing communities for their excellence in comprehensive preservation-based commercial district revitalization. A jury of professionals and leaders in the fields of community and economic development and historic preservation convened to review a nationwide pool of applicants.
“The heart of Michigan’s Capital City is its Downtown District,” said Cathleen Edgerly, Executive Director of DLI. “Downtown Lansing is evolving into a neighborhood that fosters community engagement through our culture, opportunities and activities at all hours of the day. This national recognition is further proof that the future of our district is bright. Join us as we transform Downtown Lansing into a thriving urban center that energizes the entire region.”
In the heart of Michigan’s capital city, DLI is prioritizing walkability, sustainability, and accessibility to create a Main Street that welcomes everyone. This program has a long list of successes including streetscape improvements, public art installations, state-wide business recruitment, and DEIA planning.
Before COVID, the downtown area was primarily known as a space for office workers and lunchtime eateries. The pandemic radically altered the business landscape and forced DLI to re-evaluate its revitalization strategy through a Comprehensive Market Analysis that addressed the future commercial and residential needs of the district, while also re-evaluating the district’s identity. DLI worked with businesses to expand weeknight and weekend hours, developers to bring more than 900 new housing units to the district, and new partners to expand the area’s arts and cultural offerings. These changes have ushered in a new era for downtown Lansing as a vibrant destination that cultivates a real sense of place.
“The Great American Main Street Award is the highest honor that we grant to organizations within our network,” said Matt Wagner, Chief Program Officer at Main Street America. “We are elated to recognize Downtown Lansing Inc. and seven peer organizations as 2024 GAMSA Semifinalists for their incredible accomplishments in transforming their downtowns through innovative programs strategically designed to preserve their unique heritage, foster economic vitality, and create a welcoming atmosphere.”
The 2024 GAMSA winners will be announced at the opening plenary of the 2024 Main Street Now Conference in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 6, 2024.
“We are proud that Downtown Lansing Inc.’s work to celebrate its history and create a vibrant Main Street district has been recognized as a semi-finalist for the Great American Main Street Award,” said Laura Krizov, Main Street Manager at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “It is exciting to see the efforts of Downtown Lansing Inc. paying off and taking them to the next level of revalorization. The board, volunteers, business community and staff have worked diligently to enhance this sense of community and are deserving of this top 8 placement.”
Learn more about Downtown Lansing Inc. and its revitalization efforts at DowntownLansing.org.