About Downtown Lansing Inc.

Downtown Lansing Our Mission

Downtown Lansing Inc. is dedicated to making Lansing a place where people want to be, by encouraging its businesses, neighborhoods, and stakeholders to build a dynamic culture known for its vibrancy, sustainable growth, and business friendly environment.


Transformational Strategies

  • Create a physical environment that supports a diverse and welcoming sense of place.
  • Support targeted business and residential development efforts aligned with DLI’s overall vision for the district.
  • Build collaborative relationships that support and contribute to the alignment and achievement of shared goals.

Downtown Lansing Inc. (DLI) manages a local Main Street Program and Principal Shopping District that is one of the most populous and largest geographically in our State. It understands its role as administrator, facilitator and communicator of the experience that is Lansing. It must balance the adventures of the tourist with the practicality of workers and residents by fostering economic growth, partnerships and a sense of community to create a vibrant, energetic and beautiful downtown district that is welcoming to all who visit. This carefully crafted mix of small town charm and big city economics will continue to establish downtown as a "first choice" destination for business owners, patrons and visitors. Lansing's central location and proximity to higher educational institutions reinforce the character and image of an historic urban town square.

Utilizing the Main Street Four-Point Approach, downtown Lansing will grow to be highly self-reliant with representation and involvement from a broad cross-section of the community. The growth and success of downtown Lansing will be further achieved by reaching out to downtown stakeholders, increasing the lines of communication and engaging the community in the Main Street program. The roads into our city must be exciting and robust. The roads out of our city should spread our unique story, enhance perception by exceeding expectations, and thereby grow the reputation and continue the transformation of downtown Lansing into a world-class capital city.

Our Values
The DLI Board of Directors, staff and volunteers believe that a downtown that is vibrant, economically strong, and culturally dynamic adds value to the lives of all those who visit, live and work there.

DLI strives to foster a vibrant downtown district environment by working collaboratively, professionally, and respectfully with stakeholders and residents.

DLI encourages open participation and communication with all stakeholders and residents that will allow us to creatively capitalize on our existing assets and attract new organizations, in an effort to implement the organization’s goals and objectives.

The DLI Board, staff and volunteers all work to cultivate a positive and supportive environment that focuses on teamwork and building a strong sense of community, while proactively addressing downtown issues, questions or concerns.

Above all, DLI strives to be a reputable and respected organization held in high esteem, and perceived and considered a valuable resource by all downtown stakeholders, residents and the general public.

Boundaries of Downtown (Central Business District)
Established in 1996, the capital city's Central Business District contains over 1,000 businesses in a 64 block area. The district is bounded by St. Joseph Street on the South, the east side of Captiol Avenue to the West, Larch Street on the East and Shiawassee Street to the North.

The downtown area is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Downtown Lansing Main Street
Downtown Lansing became a designated Michigan Main Street community in February of 2013 by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The National Trust Main Street Center's Four-Point Approach is a proven comprehensive downtown revitalization strategy for traditional commercial districts.

We take a smart, common sense approach to building a vibrant Lansing through historic preservation, community self-reliance, and local ownership.

Our goal is to strengthen the social economic health of our downtown and our community.

Downtown Lansing Inc. is proud to have a nationally accredited Main Street program. The DLI Board of Directors is pleased to offer a look at Organization, Design, Public Spaces, Promotions and Business Development Committee Work Plans for FY2017.

Organization Team:
This team handles the nuts and bolts, behind-the-scenes action that is vital to the program's success--fundraising, public relations, communications, board nominations and volunteer management.

FY 2019 Work Plans:

  • Annual Sponsorship Brochure
  • Residential Welcome partnership with property owners
  • Short videos for social media/website
  • New website
  • Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition
  • Annual Report
  • Monthly E-Newsletter/Volunteer of the Month
  • Monthly Merchant Newsletter
  • Volunteer Management Software
  • Fall Student Welcome
This team meets the first Wednesday of each month at 8 a.m. at the Downtown Lansing Inc. office.

Design Team:
From streetscapes to historic renovations, this team works to create a welcoming atmosphere and enhance the look and feel of downtown Lansing for residents and visitors.

FY 2019 Work Plans:

  • Wayfinding
    • 10 New Pedestrian Wayfinding Kiosks with Historic Interruptive panels & Map
    • Retro-fitting 12 newspaper kiosks into pedestrian wayfinding system
  • Sidewalk Café Furniture Grant Program
  • Sign Grant Program
  • Summer Walking Tours
  • Façade Lighting Silver Bells
  • Wallscape Public Art Project (Joint venture with Public Spaces)
This team meets on the third Thursday of the month at 8:30 a.m. at the Downtown Lansing Inc. office.

Public Spaces Team:
This team focuses on promoting urban beautification within the downtown area and increasing community involvement within the area by improving the appearance of public green spaces and problem areas, organizing clean up days and planting projects, decorating downtown for the holiday season and making sure the downtown area is free from trash and debris.

FY 2019 Work Plans:

  • Hanging Basket Program
  • Holiday Décor (in addition to status quo)
    • 50 New Custom Holiday Wreaths
    • 4 large ornament makeover in traffic circle
  • Capitol Lawn Movie Nights
  • Capital City Clean Sweep
  • Bridge Flower Boxes (Michigan Ave. & Museum Drive)
  • Wentworth Park Reactivation
  • Wallscape Public Art Project (Joint Venture with Design)
This team meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 3:30 at varying locations downtown.

Promotions Team:
This team works to market our downtown's unique qualities and to create a fun, vibrant environment through special events, image building campaigns and promotions.

FY 2019 Work Plans:

  • Taste of Downtown
  • Brunch with Santa Events
  • Trick-or-Treat on the Square
  • New Lunchtime Concert Series
  • Forks & Corks
  • GLCVB Visitors Guide Ads
  • Holiday TV Co/Op Ad Campaign
  • Continue Downtown Brand Implementation
This team meets the second Wednesday of each month at 3:45 p.m. at the Downtown Lansing Inc. office.

Economic Vitality Team:
This team works to support local businesses through education and marketing assistance. It strives, through market analysis, to retain existing businesses and recruit new businesses that support the economic fabric of downtown Lansing.

FY 2019 Work Plans:

  • Continue with Implementation of Ready to Recruit
  • Vacant Storefront Signs
  • Property Profiles
  • Annual Business Owner Survey
  • Monthly Downtown Business Huddle
  • Business Owner Workshops
  • Re-design of business directories
  • Ribbon Cuttings

This team meets the second Tuesday of the month at 3 p.m. at the Downtown Lansing Inc. office



JV Anderton
Loomis Law

Vice President
Christine Zarkovich
Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce

Summer Schriner
Grace Boutique, Adjacent Resident

Jim Tischler
Planique, LCC

Past President
Karl Dorshimer
Lansing Economic Area Partnership

Advisory Board Members
Brian T. Jackson, City Council 4th Ward
Vanessa Shafer, Old Town Commercial Association

The Downtown Lansing Inc. Board of Directors meet on the second Thursday of each month at 11:30 am at the DLI office,
401 S. Washington Sq. Ste. 101.


Looking For A Form?

Downtownlansing.org hosts a variety of documents useful for area businesses. If you're having trouble locating that one business permit or grant application, we may have it for you.

View Resources

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