Concerns about crime and safety at two different plazas in south Lansing was the topic of discussion at Wednesday’s Committee on Public Safety meeting.
FOX 47's Cryss Walker spoke with councilmembers and the community about how these once thriving retail locations have gone downhill.
Councilman Adam Hussain represents Lansing’s third ward.
He says the plaza on Pleasant Grove and Holmes is a public nuisance.
“This is a long standing issue”, said Councilman Hussain.
“Public consumption, drug loitering, it's kind of an all day party atmosphere.”
Rachelle White owns Center of the Plate Catering, which is located near the Pleasant Grove Plaza.
White says the parking lot is known for loitering, loud music and crime.
“Just about six weeks ago we had a shooting at Sherronda's Chicken and Pizza”, White said.
Other business owners in the area say people in the parking lot are not bothering others or committing any crimes.
“People gone sit around…waiting to get their hair cut”, said Sonny Pea, owner of True Styles and Fades Barbershop.
Pea says he believes the plaza is being watched for different reasons.
“They just try to make it seem as if it's a nuisance because it's a lot of African-Americans hanging around, which is what African-Americans do, they like to hang around each other”, Pea explained.
Just about a mile away, Lansing City Councilman Adam Hussain says there's another plaza that's a public safety concern, Logan Square.
“The condition of the property is a huge issue”, Hussain told FOX 47.
“The condition of the parking lot is a huge issue. We obviously had a suite that was serving as kind of an illegal gambling operation for a very long-time. We have another one that is suspected of being an illegal gambling establishment. We have just a myriad of illicit things taking place over there”, Hussain continued.
Gon Howard is a Lansing resident who works at the Dollar Tree in Logan Square.
He says he’s never had an issue at the plaza.
“Crime can happen anywhere in Lansing”, said Howard.
“This plaza has been here a long-time and it's a community place. A lot of people go here and been here for years and they love this plaza”, Howard explained.
FOX 47’s Cryss Walker also spoke with the owner of Logan Square, John Meram.
Meram says he's been in business for over 15 years, but in the last year, his plaza has been targeted.
The mixed-use business owner says he believes the city wants to push him out to make room for re-development.
Meram says he’s now trying to sell Logan Square because he's tired of being harassed.
FOX 47 also reached out to the owner of the Pleasant Grove Plaza.
We're still waiting for a call back.