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Social districts in Lansing may become permanent

Posted at 10:59 PM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 22:59:41-04

LANSING, Mich. — Lansing’s social districts, created to help bars and restaurants during the pandemic, could be around for years to come..

Social districts are outdoor spaces where patrons can consume alcohol beverages purchased from nearby bars and restaurants.

Last summer, the city created them in downtown, REO Town and Old Town with sunset dates set for Dec. 31, 2022.

Last week, Mayor Andy Schor presented a resolution to the Council that would keep social districts around indefinitely.

“It just creates one more opportunity for folks to come on down and enjoy themselves responsibly,” said Council Member Peter Spadafore. “Like if you want to take advantage of the beautiful walk along the river trail, you can grab a beer or cocktail and just enjoy that community asset.”

And, he added, they helped businesses survive.

“Overall, if you look at what has occurred in the year that social districts have been announced, we haven’t seen a lot of issues. In fact, we’ve seen more benefits,” said Cathleen Edgerly, executive director of Downtown Lansing Inc.

Edgerly believes permanent social districts will attract more businesses to Lansing.

“We see it as a benefit for new businesses who are looking to come to the Lansing area and they may see social districts as an advantage,” she said.

The Council is expected to vote on the resolution within the next 30 days.

Erica Murphy

Erica Murphy

1:21 PM, Mar 03, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Erica Murphy

FOX 47 News Neighborhood Newsletter