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As commercial developments continue in Meridian Township, what's drawing them to the neighborhood?

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jun 07, 2024
  • Meridian Township has a history of drawing in big chains and retailers from Chick-fil-A to Trader Joe's.
  • Township officials say the neighborhood's unique population is a significant factor in attracting new businesses.
  • Video shows Meridian Township Neighborhood and Economic Development Director Amber Clark sharing her perspective on what draws businesses to the neighborhood.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

It's been a long time coming, but the Trader Joe's in Meridian Township is inching closer and closer to its grand opening. With some other new commercial developments hitting the area as well, what draws these big chains to the neighborhood?

"So we have some commercial developments," Meridian Township Neighborhood and Economic Development Director Amber Clark said.

The long-awaited Trader Joe's, as well as an ACE Hardware in the former Stillwater Grill, are just a few projects coming to Meridian Township.

"It is frequent that large chains and franchises will look at our community," Clark said.

Neighborhood and Economic Development Director Amber Clark says Meridian Township's unique composition has been a driving factor in bringing big chains into the neighborhood.

"Our population, I think, is a big thing that supports it," she said. "Our education and access. Townships generally across the state are not as large. We have a population of 43,000. Very educated people. Very active, involved."

However, Clark says it's a balancing act trying to offer national chains space in the neighborhood, while also supporting smaller businesses.

"I think some residents would prefer the mom-and-pop, and of course, the challenges of macroeconomics don't always make it so easy for a mom-and-pop to take up some of these large spaces," Clark said. "It's a balancing act."

Despite the balancing act, Clark says the Township is fortunate that chains are considering setting up shop in Meridian Township.

"We're very proud of our residents that we as an area contribute to the greater East Lansing, Lansing MSA, and that large franchises are looking to us," she said.

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