Community, business owners react to Pleasant Grove Plaza plans

Posted: 8:40 AM, Aug 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-08 15:15:38Z

A plaza on Lansing's south side is in some dire needs of improvements, but not everyone is on board.

But business owners say that just because it's going to be looking better, that doesn't necessarily mean people are going to be left behind.

"We can make this place a much nicer place that the community deserves," Revan Herfy said.

Herfy is the owner of 1910 Food Market in Pleasant Grove Plaza and the President of the Southwest Action Group. The group, also known as SWAG, recently raised enough funds to purchase an area of parking adjacent to the plaza. SWAG says they plan to make that into a square with a sculpture and landscaping. He says that the upgrades to the plaza will make it nicer for everyone, but some disagree.

"They want to do a redevelopment and they aren't thinking about the people that it's going to affect. If they do the redevelopment and the invite some developer in here, the cost of living raises, people have to move. Where are they going to go?" community member Michael Butler said.

Butler added he was happy to see the plaza look better, but he feared some community members might get left behind.

But business owners say that's not going to happen, they just want to make the area look nicer.

"Nothing will change, the businesses will be here, I will be here, the barbershop will be here, everyone else will be here. It's just that we're going to have better, nicer looking buildings. I mean, who doesn't want that?" Herfy said.

Other customers who frequent the businesses in the plaza say they welcome the changes

"I do think its a good thing. You need to improve everything around the city. Why let everything deteriorate and go down? It's good to build things back up."

The purchase agreement is already signed and SWAG says they plan on closing before September 25th. They say they got the funds from a spaghetti dinner and community donations.

The next SWAG meeting is September 6th at 4:00 p.m. Community members are encouraged to attend to ask questions and voice their concerns.