LANSING - Another stride has been made in the race for downtown revitalization in Michigans capital.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority gave the city a $250,000 grant Monday morning to help with the goals outlined by the Blue Ribbon Committee on Downtown Revitalization. The money will go toward grants for loft development, low interest loans and grants for facade development, and streetscape improvements in the Washington Square area.
Lansing Mayor David Hollister said the grant could also bring in private donations.
Were going to try to use this as a way to raise money as well, he said. We can go to private sector philanthropists and ask them to match this money.
We cannot do this by ourselves - its got to be a partnership.
Lansing was able to receive this money because of its proximity to the state capital, Hollister said.
Generally, when the state announces some major initiative for economic development, Lansing gets at least a shot at those, he said. The fact that were the state capital and they can watch what we do very closely (makes Lansing a good candidate for funds).
Hollister expects the combined funds will enable about 20 lofts to be built by the end of the year, which will greatly aid downtown revitalization.
Youve got to get people living downtown, he said. Year-round, 24 hours a day, people coming and going. Having people live downtown is really one of the critical pieces we have to make happen (for revitalization).
Having MSHDA Director Jim Logue on the Blue Ribbon Committee was a key aspect in Lansing receiving this money, said Mary Lou Keenon, public relations manager for the MSHDA.
We felt that it would be a good idea as far as being a good neighbor