Old Town street application amended

After months of meetings and discussions between Old Town Commercial Association (OTCA) and Lansing for Cesar E. Chavez (LCEC), the two groups have reached a compromise that both honors Cesar Chavez in a visible and educational way while being cognoscente of the businesses owners concerns.  On Thursday, August 12 LCEC amended their application to change Grand River Avenue to Cesar E. Chavez Ave to be an honorary street name change with dual signage.  The application also formally changes the name of Lot 56 at the corner of Turner & Grand River Ave to Cesar E. Chavez Plaza.  OTCA was named as a partnering applicant in the amendment.

These two memorials were one of several alternatives discussed on May 22 at Perspective2 Studio when both LCEC volunteers and Old Town stakeholders met to discuss the future of their proposed memorial.  From that meeting it became obvious that though the Old Town community was not against a memorial they were against a street name change for several reasons including potential cost to the small business owners, loss of history connected to Michigan’s longest street and the lack of participation the City of Lansing required by property owners along the Grand River Ave.

Through this meeting and online survey’s that followed both OTCA and LCEC found that these two alternatives were not only the highest vote getters but also addressed the LCEC interest in education on Chavez and all of the businesses concerns.  The honorary street name change will be executed by the City of Lansing and will be done with sign toppers or dual signage allowing the business owners to keep their print and marketing materials.  The honorary signage will be installed after the City of Lansing’s vote in September.  The Plaza will be privately funded, will include an archway into the lot, and will be installed by LCEC sometime after that when funding allows.  Both projects will be discussed at public hearing of the Lansing City Council on August 30th.

“I’m truly thrilled at the cooperation and respect that both parties have displayed and the sheer passion that each group holds for the betterment of our community.  By working together, we have reclaimed the future of our community and the memory of a very import figure for Lansing.” said Brittney Hoszkiw, Executive Director of the OTCA.

“The Old Town community is fortunate in finding partners in their efforts towards business development, community engagement, and historic preservation.  And I’m confident that these two community projects will create another layer of culture and vibrancy to our neighborhood.”

Old Town Commercial Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of Lansing’s Old Town through socioeconomic development, historic preservation, business recruitment and community outreach. For additional information, please visit www.iloveoldtown.org.