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Common Ground organizers plan live music venue in downtown Lansing

224 S. Washington Sq. in downtown Lansing
Posted at 4:33 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 20:52:40-05

LANSING, Mich. — The building at 224 S. Washington Square in downtown Lansing could soon become a live performance venue.

RBM Properties, LLC, is proposing a $355,500 renovation to the nearly 100-year-old building that was once Club Paradise, Club X-cel and, most recently, the Blue Knight Hookah Lounge.

Kevin Meyer, one of the promoters behind the city's Common Ground festival, is listed in city documents as the managing member of RBM Properties.

He confirmed to FOX 47 News in a phone conversation that the Lansing Economic Development had approved $136,500 loan for the project, but declined to discuss the details.

Instead, Jenna Meyer, Kevin Meyer's daughter and coworker at MiEntertainment Group, sent a statement that read, "We are still in the beginning phases of renovations, but excited to share more in the coming months about the future of 224 Washington Square."

Project site plan
Project site plan

In materials submitted with the loan application, the developers said the renovated building will become "one of the most popular and storied live performance venues in the Midwest" and that performances would "include all genres of music including pop, rock, classic rock, R&B, hip hop, country, bluegrass, folk, Latin, jazz, comedy and more."

Once the renovation is complete, the building would accommodate up to 700 attendees in a general admission setting, the documents said, or about 250 people seated at tables.

The plan is to host 100 events or more each year, the documents said, and estimated the venue's economic impact at $10 million annually.

"We intend to recapture the fan (and his/her economic impact) who has been traveling to Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Flint, Detroit and/or other communities to enjoy live entertainment by providing a world class venue in their community," the application said, "and provide a venue for the next generations of fans and their memories."

The venue would open only for performances and would not be operated as a night club. The plan would be to rent it out for weddings and other events.

The building is owned by 1247 Center Street LLC, a company linked to Tom Donall, the former owner of Club Paradise, Club X-cel and Spiral. The materials submitted to the city say the total project will cost $927,000, with $307,500 of that going to buying the property and to closing costs.

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Tianna Jenkins

12:23 PM, Jan 12, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Tianna Jenkins

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