| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

East Lansing : In the News

552 East Lansing Articles | Page: | Show All

Meridian Twp. L&L store expected to reopen soon

Detroit grocery store owners have purchased the L&L Food Centers in Meridian Township and Martin Luther King Blvd. The MLK location should remain open throughout the transition, while the closed Meridian Township store is expected to reopen in the near future.

According to excerpts from the article:

The L&L Food Center in East Lansing closed on Monday, but it should reopen, according to the store's new operator.

Brothers Randy and Roni Watha, owners of Seven Mile Food Inc. in Detroit, bought the inventory and fixtures from the store at 6075 Hagadorn Road in East Lansing for $60,000.

Randy Watha said he hopes to work out a lease in the next couple weeks and reopen the store with the same employees as soon as possible.

The Wathas also purchased the property, buildings, inventory, equipment and fixtures for the L&L store on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Lansing for $740,000.

That store should remain open through the transition, Watha said.

L&L, which was founded in 1931 by the Levandowski family, had been operating under receivership since Dec. 14. It couldn't secure financing to keep operating and couldn't pay back $2.47 million in loans to Flint-based Citizens Bank.

Five of its stores closed since last spring.

Read the entire article here.

E.L. seeks input on park plan

The City of East Lansing is asking community members to be a part of developing a parks plan. They will solicit input from citizens on parks programming, as well as facilities.

According to excerpts from the article:

The East Lansing Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission will invite community members to participate in workshops to help determine where the community’s priorities should lie.

The commission is holding the community forum workshops for the first time since 2006 to gather input for the city’s Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenways Plan, said Wendy Wilmers Longpre, the East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts assistant director.

The plan covers all facilities and programs available for parks and recreation in the city of East Lansing as well as the community centers, greenways and open space and is updated every five years to keep in touch with community interest and the city budget.

Community members will offer two different workshop times at 7 p.m. March 7 and March 23 in the Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road, to gather in a group setting to share what they think should be prioritized in the plan should the commission’s budget decrease. She said no budget cuts have been made yet, but the commission is working to prepare just in case.

In the East Lansing City Council’s March 1 meeting, Councilmember Roger Peters said the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission went through the same process five years ago and would attempt to find out what direction the community wanted to go in terms of parks and recreation while keeping potential budget cuts in mind.

Read the entire article here.

Former Country Markett in East Lansing may get new use

The East Lansing Planning Commission will soon hold a hearing to consider allowing a Bagger Dave's restaurant to open in a portion of the vacant East Lansing building that used to house Country Markett. The building has been unoccupied since 2007.

According to excerpts from the story:

Bagger Dave's Legendary Burger Tavern is being proposed to occupy a portion of the former Country Markett building in the Brookfield Plaza at the corner of Grand River and Hagadorn Road.

The East Lansing Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to consider a site plan and special use permit from Krieger Associates Architects, LLC for vacant space at 1367 E. Grand River.

Country Markett closed on New Year's Eve 2007, and since then there was a failed grass roots effort to attract Trader Joe's to the site, and the East Lansing Food Co-op eyed the building, but decided against relocating from its site on Northwind Drive in Meridian Township.The proposed restaurant is planned to occupy about 4,500 square feet of the former grocer's 20,000 square-foot space.

If approved, the East Lansing restaurant -- which would serve alcohol -- would be the fifth in Michigan, after locations in Ann Arbor, Berkley, Novi and Brighton. The property is zoned B-2, Retail Sales Business District.The menu features many Michigan-made products, from the ground turkey for the chili and burgers to the Alpena-grown potatoes for their fresh-cut fries to the Koeze Cream-Nut peanut butter from Grand Rapids to the Detroit-baked buns in three styles -- plain, sesame and honey wheat.

Read the entire article here.

FRIB project included in Obama’s budget

President Barack Obama has included funds for the construction of MSU's Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. The $30 million included in his budget is important to the completion of the facility, but the budget must first be approved by Congress.

According to excerpts from the article:

With the inclusion of a $30 million award from the Department of Energy in President Barack Obama’s budget, the construction of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB, moves one step closer to its expected completion in 2020.

The money was specified in earlier negotiations and was used to shape the project’s budget, said Alex Parsons, FRIB’s Project Communications Manager.

“That request in the Department of Energy is consistent with the budget that was worked out,” Parsons said. “It’s not new — it’s not an increase.”

Completing FRIB will cost about $500 billion, said J. Ian Gray, vice president for research and graduate studies. In the next 20 years, the project is expected to spur about $1 billion in economic activity, he said.

Despite the crippled economy, FRIB has remained a priority because it’s one of the highest research tools in maintaining American innovation, according to officials from the department.

FRIB will help maintain MSU’s position as one of the top nuclear science graduate programs in the country and earn the university global recognition, he said.

“Completion will allow us to be one of the three (international) sites where scientists will study rare isotopes,” Gray said.

“This is very important to the institute’s research reputation.”

Read the entire article here.

Capital seeing job growth in law, accounting, engineering and other sectors

Despite a national recession, the Capital region is seeing growth in key job sectors such as law and engineers, and the trend is expected to continue.

According to excerpts from the article:

Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith has bucked a trend in the past three years.

While other companies cut jobs and the Lansing area's jobless rate peaked at 12 percent in July 2009 amid a national recession, the Lansing law firm hired 15 law school graduates.

And Michigan State University's Facility for Rare Isotope Beams is currently seeking 11 engineers.

The sector has struggled for several years. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 19,200 jobs in the Lansing area that fell under the business and professional services category in 2009, down 17.6 percent from 2000.

Nonetheless, some professions are poised for double-digit job growth, according to a 2006 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, including accountants, receptionists, engineers and landscape architects.

CPAs have the most job opportunities, said Lynne Zelenski, director of academic services for MSU's Accounting and Information Systems department. The CPA is a professional designation licensed by the state, and CPAs participate in ongoing education.

Read the entire article here.

Former Flint Mayor to lead East Lansing-based Prima Civitas Foundation

Former interim Flint mayor Michael K. Brown has been appointed as president of Prima Civitas as the East Lansing economic development agency begins to expand statewide.

According to excerpts from the article:

Michael K. Brown, who led the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is increasing its financial commitment to the agency.

With ties to Michigan State University, Prima Civitas launched in 2006 to focus on bringing, partnerships, resources and funding to mid-Michigan communities.

“The brain drain has been a critical part of our challenge over the past few years, and we’ve got to find other ways to keep the young people in the community,” Brown said.

Under Brown’s leadership, Prima Civitas plans to expand its efforts to a more statewide approach. But Brown says a big focus of his will be working in his home town.

“The long and short of it is, bringing Mike Brown on board brings a tremendous amount of talent and leadership,” said Steven Webster, Vice President for Governmental Affairs at Michigan State University and the new CEO and chairman of Prima Civitas.

Read the entire article here.

Spartan Dance Center making jump to East Lansing's Gaslight Village

East Lansing's Spartan Dance Center, formerly located at 217 Ann St., is moving to Gaslight Village on Abbot Road. The new studio is currently under construction.

According to excerpts from the story:

After only six months of operation in downtown East Lansing, Spartan Dance Center is closing its doors and moving north.

The dance studio, formerly located at 217 Ann St., closed its doors because the building is scheduled to be torn down for redevelopment, said Tiffany Russell, owner of Spartan Dance Center. She said a new studio is under construction in Gaslight Village on Abbot Road and classes are being held in a temporary location at 3498 Lake Lansing Road., Suite 130, until the new location is finished.

Wittney Ransome, a hospitality business senior who has taken her daughter to classes at Spartan Dance Center, said the new location would be more convenient for her because of its close proximity to her home. But she said the studio might lose some business from students living closer to downtown East Lansing.

Read the entire article here.

$1.8 million endowment enables $80,000 in student grants at MSU

Michigan State University has received a $1 million endowment from the Forest Akers Trust to fund entrepreneurial grants for undergraduates across all programs.

According to excerpts from the article:

If it weren't for a $5,000 grant, Sam Goodsitt probably would have filed away his idea for a hybrid home generator.

But with the help of the grant, the 22-year-old Michigan State University student is working with professional engineers to create a prototype for the wind and solar-powered generator.

Goodsitt was the recipient of an entrepreneurship grant through a $600,000 endowment established last year by the Midland-based Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation.

MSU liked what it saw with that endowment, so it went after more money. The Forest Akers Trust answered the call with a $1 million endowment to provide students with grants of up to $5,000.

The Akers endowment is open to students in all fields, while the Gerstacker endowment is focused on the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The combined $1.6 million should generate about $80,000 in interest earnings each year for student grants and programming.

Read the entire article here.

Two day East Lansing art expo and sale highlights local art scene

East Lansing Public Art Gallery and the City of East Lansing hosted an Art Expo in the Hannah Community Center featuring the works of Capital region residents.

According to excerpts from the article:

Yvette Robinson said the Art Expo hopefully would show community members the importance of local art in the area.

"Art is something that has been affected by the cuts in the communities all across the state," Robinson said. "This is a way to show . . . that art does play an intricate role in all the communities in and around town."

Stevie Thompson, a criminal justice junior, said she thinks it’s important to support local artists, even though she does not have a lot of experience with art herself. She said she has some handmade jewelry pieces, and appreciates the uniqueness of original, local art.

"You can introduce new styles to people," Thompson said. "If someone thinks it’s cool, they’ll ask you where you got it — you’re promoting the people that made it."

Read the entire article here.

Pitava women's clothing opens new location in downtown East Lansing

Downtown East Lansing's new Pitaya retail store brings affordable women's fashion to shoppers featuring unique, American-made Pitaya-brand items.

According to excerpts from the article:

Female students looking for a new place to shop for clothes in downtown East Lansing have another option this week with the opening of Pitaya, a clothing store hoping to fill a niche for affordable fashion in the area.

Pitaya originated in Bloomington, Ind., in 1990 and has 16 other locations across the country.

"We have an incredible selection for such a small store," Mazor said. "I think it’s a winning concept.”

Heather Pope, East Lansing’s community development specialist, said the city was notified of Pitaya’s opening last fall and said she thinks Pitaya will be a positive addition to the downtown market because it adds to the number of shopping destinations in East Lansing.

Some local businesspeople who cater to a similar student demographic said they think the proximity of Pitaya to other clothing retail stores will be good for all the downtown businesses.

Read the entire article here.

East Lansing LAUNCHED Event Celebrates Successful Local Entrepreneurs

The successful second annual LAUNCHED event, held on Dec. 9. at at Dublin Square Irish Pub, celebrated the entrepreneurial successes and commitment of local innovators to growth in the Capital region.

According to excerpts from the article:

The event began in 2009 as a celebration of the first-year anniversary of the Technology Innovation Center, 325 E. Grand River Ave., said Nicholas Chilenko, a principal of Nicholas Creative and one of the organizers of the event.

At Launched!, East Lansing Mayor Vic Loomis presented an Innovator of the Year award to Good Fruit Video, a local company that creates videos for businesses to increase their Internet presence, and a Student Innovator of the Year award to Eric Jorgenson, an economics and general management senior who has been involved in many local business startups and organized the recent event Startup Weekend Lansing to promote business building.

Read the entire article here.

Popular Student Book Store Celebrates 50 Years in Downtown East Lansing

The Student Book Store (SBS) at 421 E. Grand River Avenue in downtown East Lansing is celebrating its golden anniversary: 50 years in business.

According to excerpts from the article:

When Howard Ballein was first hired to work at a bookstore in 1952, he was paid 70 cents per hour. When he opened Student Book Store, or SBS in 1960, books sold for about $6 and the store was 1,800 square feet.

Ballein decided to open a store in East Lansing because of the market potential for used books sales and another, less business-related draw, he said.

“I was 26, and I thought the women here were the best looking ones,” said Ballein as he sat with his wife and two sons, who all work with him, in his office overlooking the store. “I got offered the job, so I came up here.”

Now as Ballein, 76, celebrates the store’s 50th year in East Lansing, textbook prices have increased tenfold and SBS, 421 E. Grand River Ave., has expanded to 25,000 square feet of retail and 19,000 square feet of warehouse space.

Read the entire article here.

Well-traveled Entrepreneurs Open East Lansing's New Wanderer's Teahouse

After traveling and working across the globe, Eizabeth Marazita and Michael Spano have set roots in East Lansing with their business, Wanderer's Teahouse and Cafe.

According to excerpts from the article:

Marazita and Spano, who have seven part-time workers, offer 35 to 40 varieties and blends of tea. They also educate students and residents about tea, herbal medicine and cultural traditions.

The couple is trying to carve a local niche in a giant business. U.S. tea sales came in at about $8.5 billion in 2009, according to Specialty Coffee Retailer, a trade publication for the retail coffee and tea sector. Citing market researcher Packaged Foods, Specialty Coffee said tea sales climbed 32 percent from 2005 to 2009.

As the East Lansing shop's name suggests, Marazita, 49, and Spano, 42, are well-traveled. Their personal stories are as intricate and compelling as the paintings, tapestries, trinkets and books that fill the cozy teahouse.

Read entire article here.

$2.83 Million Effort Officially Secures 120 Acres For Lake Lansing Park

Lake Lansing Park has officially acquired 120 acres of land that has been used as part of the park for many years, saving the land from being developed.

According to excerpts from the article:

The newly acquired 120 acres added to Lake Lansing Park-North's south side have been used by joggers, cross country skiers and trail enthusiasts for years but weren't officially part of the park.

Volunteers spent more than two years raising funds, writing grants and working through other paperwork to buy the land for $2.83 million so it could be protected for years to come.

The addition means the park has grown from 449 acres to 569 acres.

The new land is home to more than 500 species of plants and a mix of swamps, forest, wetlands and wet meadows, making it the most diverse environmental area in Meridian Township, according to Ingham County Parks officials.

Read the entire article here.

National Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour Hits Capital Area High Schools

Thanks to sponsorship from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) Inc., and area students, the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour made its way to Lansing last Wednesday.

According to excerpts from the article:

Author and entrepreneur Arel Moodie spoke to about 450 high school students from 14 Lansing-area high schools as part of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour's stop in Lansing. The tour then moved on to East Lansing.

"Entrepreneurs solve problems for people in the form of a business," Moodie said.

Moodie, 26, started his first company in college and is now part owner of Extreme Entrepreneurship Education Corp., the New York company that presents the nationwide tour.

LEAP's president and CEO, Denyse Ferguson, hopes broadening the program gets the entrepreneurial gears turning in high school students' minds.

"Expanding our reach to these students enables us to tap into our youth at an even earlier stage of their lives and introduce them to an entrepreneurial mind-set," Ferguson said.

"The kids totally responded to it, they all wanted to talk to Arel (Moodie) and hear more. I think part of the lesson is to get them that young. College is great, but if you can start with some of those freshman, it's fantastic."

Read the entire article here.
552 East Lansing Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts