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Lmichigan

New changes give hope to downtown merchants

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The Lansing State Journal has been rewriting this same article, it seems, ever since Hollister was in office, but something in the air feels different this time about the revitalization of the city center. The progress seems much more tangible, now. Once concentrating on "silver bullet" projects such as the stadium, it seems, now, that the city gets that building a critical mass of residents will be the only way to get the ball rolling down the hill.

http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/apps/pb...D=2007706140337

New changes give hope to downtown merchants

The owner of Linn & Owen Jewelers was prepping his 100-plus-year-old business to move from Washtenaw Street around the corner to 223 S. Washington Square.

"I was down here on the weekend during the evenings, and downtown was packed," said Powell, taking a break recently from clearing out decades of clock parts from his former space. "For the first time in 20 years, I saw young people with children and strollers."

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It's different this time.

The last time I went out for some night pictures was a Thursday night sometime last month. Washington Ave was HOPPING. Thelate night hours of Xcel, The Firm, Kelley's and Tavern on the Square have created a destination spot on the strip that people are utlizing.

I was amazed at the activity that late at night. 4 years ago I would have been the only one there.

As you said, I believe getting people to live there has made the difference.

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