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News & Press: FOCUS

Corridors Connect the Past, Present and Future of our Region

Wednesday, April 4, 2018  
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By Tim Daman, President and CEO

Since its earliest days as an organization, the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) has recognized the importance that major corridors play in the economic vitality and the quality of life in our region. In 1905, the Chamber, then known as the Lansing Businessmen’s Association, led a concerted effort to build the first paved road, connecting the State Capitol and Michigan Agricultural College.

Michigan Avenue looking east from the State Capitol in the late 1800s

The Michigan Avenue corridor became that connecting point that served to tie our region together, and along with business, healthcare and education our neighborhoods, began to grow.

The same characteristics that have made Michigan Avenue a vital component of our regional economy hold true today — maybe even more so. The Chamber’s interest in seeing the corridor reach its full potential is stronger than ever.

We designed this issue of FOCUS in hopes of generating a higher level of interest and enthusiasm in the continued growth as well as the potential new projects — including $300 million in planned developments that will strengthen our region in many ways. I hope you enjoy the story of Michigan Avenue, past, present and future. The Chamber has also created a new video and an extensive social media campaign to provide additional education about our vision for the future and to encourage engagement from the business community as we move our region forward.

As we continue to promote the vision and potential of the Michigan Avenue corridor it is equally important that we understand and promote the development of our other major corridors in the region. Each corridor has unique characteristics that should be cultivated and each one represents an opportunity to strengthen regional collaboration. Consider the South Cedar corridor and the potential for Lansing and Delhi Township to work together. Similarly, the Saginaw corridor into Lansing Township and Delta Township, and Martin Luther King which offers enormous potential to strengthen business and revive neighborhoods in southwest Lansing.

Each one of these corridors should be viewed as much more than just a thoroughfare on which we travel — they are lifelines that connect the fabric of our community, bringing together business, education, government, our people, neighborhoods, parks, schools and our culture. They represent everything we are as a region.

Our corridors are community jewels, the importance of which stretch far beyond the City of Lansing, but impact everyone in our region. That is why the Capital Are Council of Governments (CAPCOG), which includes local units of government in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties, has identified the development of the Michigan Avenue corridor as one of its leading priorities.

We must also recognize that we cannot achieve our full potential in any of these areas without a fiscally sound City of Lansing. We are heartened to know of Mayor Schor’s commitment to leading the city back to full financial health and resolving financial issues surrounding unfunded healthcare and pension liabilities. Our region needs a Lansing that, along with other local units of governments, is able to make significant infrastructure investments, which will serve as the foundation of vibrant corridors and growth into the future.

We encourage you to celebrate our continued success and join with the Chamber to promote a vision of transformational change for our region. See you on the corridor!

Click here to download the April issue of FOCUS.

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