Crowdfunding campaign launched to bring new life to Michigan Ave. corridor connecting Lansing, East Lansing

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

$50,000 goal to secure matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Lansing, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) today announced a new crowdfunding campaign through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. The project will transform a critical corridor along Michigan Ave. in the Frandor area into a vibrant pedestrian and biker-friendly gateway connecting the cities of Lansing and East Lansing.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for residents, local businesses and other community stakeholders to participate in this kind of transformative project that has the potential to spur a number of new economic development opportunities for Lansing, East Lansing, and Lansing Township,” MEDC Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood said. “I’m pleased to see the kind of collaboration being demonstrated here, and MEDC is happy to have resources like Public Spaces Community Places we can deploy to help bring these kinds of community visions to reality.”

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by September 11, the MEDC will provide a $50,000 matching grant with funds made possible by the Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

The crowdfunding campaign will help the Michigan Avenue Corridor Improvement Authorities of Lansing, Lansing Township, and East Lansing carry out a vision to revamp the area at the US127 bridge over Michigan Ave. between Howard St. and Homer Ave. now known to pedestrians and bicyclists as sterile, ugly and non-bikable.

This campaign is part of a greater regional economic development strategy led by LEAP focusing on the Michigan Avenue corridor with projects like SkyVue, Red Cedar Renaissance, Feldman’s Bud Kouts, the Sparrow Cancer Center, and more that are soon to be announced.

“The Under the Bridge project is a critical piece of the economic development puzzle surrounding the redevelopment of the entire Michigan Avenue corridor,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “With the current activity happening in this area, specifically the Red Cedar Renaissance and the SkyVue development, this placemaking initiative will draw pedestrians down the corridor in both directions, uniting the entire length of this important stretch of corridor, not unlike great capital cities like Columbus or Madison.” 

Money raised through the crowdfunding campaign will go toward the instillation of vandalism-resistant and maintenance-friendly lighting. Four large murals and additional art from local artists will be included.

“We are so very proud to partner with LEAP on this project," said Deborah E. Mikula, Arts Council of Greater Lansing executive director. "It is so important to the creative economy movement, putting art at the center of a placemaking effort that will really make a difference for the region.”

Enhanced landscaping is also planned through funds from adjacent development projects that LEAP and its partners are working on including the Capital Area Transit Authority (CATA) Bus Rapid Transit project. 

“Today’s workforce, particularly millennials, are seeking to live in places with strong public transit systems that are accommodating to bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Supporting this crowdfunding effort will continue to make the Lansing and East Lansing area communities more attractive to individuals and families.”

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Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity where local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, non-profits and other business entities can apply at

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders committed to building a prosperous and vibrant region where business can thrive. To do this, we help entrepreneurs start new businesses, help existing businesses grow, and attract new businesses to the region. For more information about LEAP, please visit

Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy. 

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.