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Connections and Coffee

Old Town, New Tricks: Lansing neighborhood district looks to reengage shoppers

What’s old is new again.  

Lansing’s Old Town has the distinction of being the city’s original shopping and boutique district, but business owners are putting a new shine to the area in the hope of reminding shoppers and diners that the historic neighborhood is built to last.  

“There has been a noticeable difference in the slower foot traffic in Old Town” in 2023, said Beth Herendeen, the owner of Twiggies mercantile and florist at 106 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave. and president of the Old Town Commercial Association. “I see it as a reason to talk about it and find ways to draw folks to the area, reintroducing them to all the goodness that Old Town has and rethinking the way things are done and start spreading the word that Old Town is vibrant and worth making a trip here.” 

That includes reengaging patrons, identifying new demographics for engagement, and promoting not only the unique businesses that represent Old Town but services and some of the areas that might not get highlighted, like its nightlife. 

“There are reasons to come to Old Town, and the Greater Lansing area is going to begin to hear more about those through social media engagement, promotions of events, businesses and some new events that a group here is working on for the holiday season,” Herendeen said. “What I know about the folks in Old Town is that they are passionate, caring, loving people who may not always see eye to eye on how or why; but, at the end of the day, the goals ultimately are the same — and we, as a community, work together to make things happen and cheer each other on to successes.” 

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