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Panel of Lansing Local Development Success Stories

Robert Trezise, President and CEO, Lansing Economic Development Corporation
Shawn Elliott, Owner, Diamonds in the Rough, City of Lansing
Harry Hepler, Owner, H Inc., City of Lansing
Bob Johnson, Director of Planning and Development, City of Lansing

A panel of local developers, moderated by Arnold Weinfeld, MML director of public policy and federal affairs, presented some real-life examples of networking and success stories in what they are doing to create a vital downtown Lansing.

Robert Trezise, president and CEO of Lansing Economic Development Corporation, talked about his partnership with the developers.  Trezise stated that government should get out of the developers’ way as fast as possible.  “My job is to say ’yes.’ ”  Trezise added “What choice do we have?  We’ve had our own disasters.  We want them to get rich.”  Trezise highlighted that every time the government gives incentives, money is brought into the city.  His advice:  Be as aggressive as possible with incentives and layer them.  He also talked about the power of downtowns—reminding participants that there’s nothing like the networking of a downtown.

Shawn Elliott, owner of Diamonds in the Rough, stated that we have a rich stock of old historic buildings all over the state.  He stressed that we want people to live on the streets and play in the parks. 

Harry Hepler, owner of H Inc., warned that we can’t keep stretching out our infrastructure.  He also highlighted that very few tax dollars are being given out.

Bob Johnson, director of planning and development for the city of Lansing, stated that his job was to “bring some light to downtown.”

Participants appreciated the comments made by the developers as providing “real life” examples that partnerships are not only possible but absolutely necessary.


If you have any questions, please contact: 
Colleen Layton, or Arnold Weinfeld, .




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