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 Inc. became an Associate Level Main Street community through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority's (MSHDA) Michigan Main Street program in July 2008 and in February 2013, Downtown Lansing became a designated Michigan Main Street community. 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.

As Downtown Lansing Inc. continues to fully implement our local Main Street program for our downtown district, the DLI Board of Directors is pleased to offer a look at approved Organization, Design, Public Spaces, Promotions, and Business Development Team Work Plans for the remainder of FY2016.

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 2016 Work Plans:

  • Communication Tool Enhancements — Website
  • Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition
  • Monthly E-Newsletter
  • Monthly Merchant Newsletter
  • Downtown Food Fight
  • Annual Report
  • Volunteer Management System — Job Descriptions
  • College 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 2016 Work Plans:

  • Michigan Ave. Mural — Public Art
  • Wayfinding Planning
  • Summer Walking Tours
  • Organ Concert Series
  • Sidewalk Café Furniture Grant Program
  • Façade Lighting during Silver Bells
  • Sign Grant Program
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 2016 Work Plans:

  • Capitol City Clean Sweep
  • Capitol Lawn Family Movie Night
  • Michigan Ave. Bridge Beautification
  • Trash Can Repair & Replacement
  • Downtown Plating Day
  • Cornstalk Installation
  • Holiday Decorations
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 2016 Work Plans:

  • Greater Lansing CVB Co-Op Ad
  • Taste of Downtown
  • Trick-or-Treat on the Square
  • Wine Down Downtown Event(s)
  • Holiday Co-Op TV Campaign
  • Breakfast with Santa
  • Lansing Adventure Club
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 2016 Work Plans:

  • Downtown Guides — Business Directory
  • Monthly Business Huddle
  • Monthly Social Hour
  • Recruitment Package & Visits
  • Annual Business Owner Survey

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



Terry Carella
Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Vice President
Phil Clacko
Independent Bank

JV Anderton
Loomis Law Firm

Karl Dorshimer
Lansing Economic Development Corporation

Past President
Doug Johns, Jr. 
LDJ Leasing

Tameko Richard, Juice Nation

Advisory Board Members
Jessica Yorko, City Council 4th Ward
Austin Ashley, 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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.@Impression5 is open tomorrow! Come down and check out the BRIO Train Extravaganza! https://t.co/7gBdryXLvH
Feb 19, 2017

We're so excited for @strangematterco to open a second location downtown! https://t.co/8lqLm4Z7Dx
Feb 19, 2017

Next Saturday: Movie Night at the @lansingcitymrkt! (They're showing Zootopia!) bit.ly/2kxVdZP https://t.co/F5aOWbeVmA
Feb 19, 2017