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Lansing residents 'excited' about upcoming downtown grocery store

Posted at 8:23 AM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 10:21:56-04

Downtown Lansing will no longer be a food desert.

The mayor and developers announced plans on Wednesday to build a grocery store in the heart of the capital city.

It's supposed to go up at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Larch Street; kitty corner from Cooley Law School Stadium.

The development will include a hotel, apartments, and what's being called an "urban market."

Residents say this means they can stock up without having to drive across town.

"I was so excited to hear the rumors that the grocery store was coming, so when I found out that the reveal was today, I had to come and find out what it was. I'm just so excited it was the grocery store," Sandra Greyerbiehl said.

Greyerbiehl lives in the Outfield Lofts in Downtown Lansing. She loves the area, but always thought there was something missing.

"I'm so tired of having to run to Kroger or Meijer when we forget a lime or tomato, its such and inconvenience. Its going to be so exciting to just walk over and get whatever items you need," she said.

The four-story development will have a hotel and apartments on top and will fill up the 600 block of East Michigan Avenue. Developer Pat Gillespie says people have been asking for both an accessible and affordable grocery store to encourage people to move downtown; as well as another hotel to draw more business to the capital city.

"To be able to put them on one package, on one city block...we're ecstatic and excited to see what its going to do for the Michigan Avenue corridor," Gillespie said.

But it's not just about money, it's harder to eat healthy when you live in a food desert like downtown Lansing in its current state.

"When you don't have a lot of options, its easier to make bad choices. Its easier to make unhealthy choices as far as food and things like that. So having a place where you can go, a one-stop-shop, and get what you need, you don't have to go out of the way for it. That's going to really help a lot," Laura Shanks said.

Construction is scheduled to start next spring. The grand opening is planned for fall of the year 2020.

There is some cleanup work to be done at the site because it used to be home to a gas station. Developers say there's a lot of stuff that will have to be removed before construction starts.