The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) announced a new crowdfunding campaign through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. The project will transform a critical corridor along Michigan Ave. in the Frandor area into a vibrant pedestrian and biker-friendly gateway connecting the cities of Lansing and East Lansing.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for residents, local businesses and other community stakeholders to participate in this kind of transformative project that has the potential to spur a number of new economic development opportunities for Lansing, East Lansing, and Lansing Township,” MEDC Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood said. “I’m pleased to see the kind of collaboration being demonstrated here, and MEDC is happy to have resources like Public Spaces Community Places we can deploy to help bring these kinds of community visions to reality.”
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by September 11, the MEDC will provide a $50,000 matching grant with funds made possible by the Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit: www.Patronicity.com/UnderTheBridge.
The crowdfunding campaign will help the Michigan Avenue Corridor Improvement Authorities of Lansing, Lansing Township, and East Lansing carry out a vision to revamp the area at the US127 bridge over Michigan Ave. between Howard St. and Homer Ave. now known to pedestrians and bicyclists as sterile, ugly and non-bikable.
This campaign is part of a greater regional economic development strategy led by LEAP focusing on the Michigan Avenue corridor with projects like SkyVue, Red Cedar Renaissance, Feldman’s Bud Kouts, the Sparrow Cancer Center, and more that are soon to be announced.
“The Under the Bridge project is a critical piece of the economic development puzzle surrounding the redevelopment of the entire Michigan Avenue corridor,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “With the current activity happening in this area, specifically the Red Cedar Renaissance and the SkyVue development, this placemaking initiative will draw pedestrians down the corridor in both directions, uniting the entire length of this important stretch of corridor, not unlike great capital cities like Columbus or Madison.”
Money raised through the crowdfunding campaign will go toward the instillation of vandalism-resistant and maintenance-friendly lighting. Four large murals and additional art from local artists will be included.
“We are so very proud to partner with LEAP on this project,” said Deborah E. Mikula, Arts Council of Greater Lansing executive director. “It is so important to the creative economy movement, putting art at the center of a placemaking effort that will really make a difference for the region.”
Enhanced landscaping is also planned through funds from adjacent development projects that LEAP and its partners are working on including the Capital Area Transit Authority (CATA) Bus Rapid Transit project.
“Today’s workforce, particularly millennials, are seeking to live in places with strong public transit systems that are accommodating to bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Supporting this crowdfunding effort will continue to make the Lansing and East Lansing area communities more attractive to individuals and families.”