Colleen Kelley has owned The Avenue, a bar and restaurant positioned on the 2000 block of Michigan Avenue, for 17 years, and he or she’s prepared to provide the place a facelift.
“It is one thing I’ve wished to do for a very long time,” Kelley mentioned. “Structurally, it wanted to get completed.”
Among the many modifications, she’s stripping off the wooden facade protecting her constructing to the unique brick, which might be cleaned and repaired.
The Avenue is not the one enterprise alongside Michigan Avenue that may see facade enhancements this summer season.
The whole north facet of the 2000 block — additionally house to Everyone Reads, the Inexperienced Door, Asian Connoisseur, Halal Meats and Grocery, Bead Boutique, Triple Goddess, China Taste, Invoice Leech Restore Service and Soulful Earth Herbals — is getting higher signage, energy-efficient home windows and different enhancements to intensify the look of the block.
The work is a part of a $450,000 hall enchancment undertaking coordinated between the town, the Group Basis, the Michigan Avenue Hall Enchancment Authority and enterprise homeowners. Monetary contributions from the enterprise homeowners are being decided.
“These corridors are gateways to the town and focal factors for our neighborhoods,” mentioned Karl Dorshimer, president and CEO of the Lansing Financial Growth Company, in an e mail. “The objective is to make use of this as a pilot program.”
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The hall enchancment program has existed in Lansing for many years, however facade enhancements usually happen one storefront at a time to evenly distribute funding across the metropolis, Mayor Andy Schor mentioned. It is a completely different strategy.
“This undertaking will remodel the 2000 block as a complete and function a pilot for potential different facade enhancements alongside Michigan Avenue,” mentioned Jonathan Lum, Michigan Avenue Hall Enchancment Authority board chair in a press launch. “We wished to make a visibly dynamic influence that may excite different companies and encourage them to make enhancements, maybe with an analogous collaborative funding mannequin.”
Michigan Avenue stretches from the Capitol Constructing to East Lansing, and a few sections of it are traveled by as many as 20,000 individuals day-after-day, in line with the Michigan Division of Transportation visitors quantity map.
For that motive, having Michigan Avenue look its greatest is essential, Schor mentioned.
“You do not wish to present a blighted neighborhood,” he mentioned. “You wish to present an thrilling neighborhood, someplace they wish to keep and have dinner after work and are available again on the weekend.”
The Michigan Avenue Hall Enchancment Authority selected the north facet of the 2000 block of Michigan Avenue as its first main undertaking as a result of it already has quite a lot of energetic companies, and a lot of the south facet of the block has been developed with new residences and storefronts.
Elsewhere on Michigan Avenue, Sparrow Hospital, positioned a couple of mile from the 2000 block, is constructing a $350 million, five-story tower at its Michigan Avenue campus that may add greater than 100 affected person rooms and deliver extra consideration to the hall.
“We’ve a vibrant metropolis with lots of companies that do lots of work inside, however we wish to assist have the surface look good,” Shor mentioned. “This is not simply fixing home windows to make them vitality environment friendly.”
Earlier this yr, the town acquired $1 million in federal funding which is able to go towards modernizing visitors alerts and different infrastructure enhancements alongside Michigan Avenue to make the world safer for drivers and pedestrians.
Kelley, who’s making facade enhancements at The Avenue via a unique metropolis grant that requires a 50% match for funding, mentioned she hoped the town additionally would contemplate investing in issues like trash receptacles, parking and locations to plant as a result of that may make the world extra practical.
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“It is a fantastic neighborhood, and it is very walkable,” she mentioned. “The facade modifications might be good, however I do not assume it’ll do a lot for financial growth.”
Town is working intently with companies to make enhancements alongside the hall to see what they want, in line with Schor.
“Ensuring you’ve got the suitable cleansing and portray, and generally you’ve got awnings and streetscapes, all that is part of this program,” he mentioned.
Though facade enhancements could not appear to be main financial growth, a little bit little bit of paint can go a good distance, in line with Dorshimer.
“We anticipate extra people to be interested in and frequent the companies,” Dorshimer mentioned. “This not solely assists companies who’ve been negatively impacted throughout the pandemic, nevertheless it additionally provides an attraction and placemaking side for people who stay, work, and go to the hall.”
The 2000 block undertaking is anticipated to be accomplished by the tip of this yr.
Contact reporter Elena Durnbaugh at (517) 231-9501 or [email protected]. Observe her on Twitter at @ElenaDurnbaugh.