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.


Our Vision
Lansing, Michigan - the civic, economic and social identities of the Great Lakes State live and breathe beneath the shadow of the Capitol dome and traverses in all directions from Michigan Avenue and Washington Square. This Michigan epicenter rides east to Detroit, west to Grand Rapids, and north to Pure Michigan. Over these by-ways a whole state is represented, its 10 million voices heard, its beauty beheld. As Michigan's Capital City, Lansing understands its special responsibility to transport the strength and dreams of a productive people living in a bountiful, beautiful state. A Lansing vision statement cannot be dreamed without understanding this special role.

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 2017 Work Plans:

  • Annual Meeting
  • Videos for Communications/PR
  • Food Fight
  • Kiosk Repurposing
  • Student Welcome Event
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 2017 Work Plans:

  • Sign Grant Program
  • Sidewalk Café Furniture Grant Program
  • Façade Lighting Silver Bells
  • Bike Carousal Pilot
  • Historic Markers
  • Walking Tours
  • Wayfinding Design
  • #TBT Facebook Posts
This team meets on the third Wednesday 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 2017 Work Plans:

  • Cornstalks
  • Gateway Sign
  • Perennial Replacements
  • Clean Sweep
  • Outdoor Movies
  • Washington Square Hanging Baskets
  • Holiday Décor
  • 221 N. Washington Building Wrap (North Wall)
  • Flower Boxes on Bridges
  • Trash Can Replacements
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 2017 Work Plans:

  • Trick or Treat on the Square
  • Taste of Downtown
  • Lansing Adventure Club
  • CVB Co/Op Ad Refresh
  • MMS Branding Service
  • Breakfast with Santa
  • Holiday TV Co/Op
  • Forks and Corks
This team meets the second Wednesday of each month at 3:45 p.m. at the Downtown Lansing Inc. office.

Business Development 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 2017 Work Plans:

  • Annual Business Owner Survey
  • Vacant Storefront Sign Update
  • Business Owner Workshop(s)
  • Recruitment Package
  • Downtown Business Huddle
  • DT Market Study Update
  • Ribbon Cuttings
  • Market Position Statement
  • Downtown Guides

This team meets the first Thursday of each month at 8:30 a.m. at the Downtown Lansing Inc. office.



Karl Dorshimer
Lansing Economic Area Partnership

Vice President
Doug Johns Jr.
LDJ Leasing

Summer Schriner
Grace Boutique

JV Anderton
Loomis Law Firm

Past President
Terry Carella
WMU-Cooley Law School

Tameko Richard, Juice Nation
Christine Zarkovich, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce

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.

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