Residents Weigh in on the Four Corners of Downtown Okemos

Residents Weigh in on the Four Corners of Downtown Okemos

OKEMOS - The Four Corners of Okemos, located at Hamilton and Okemos Road in Downtown Okemos, have been the center of some discussion.

Residents of Okemos seem to have mixed feelings about the future of the corners, which are home to empty lots and abandoned businesses.

One building was the former Travelers Club Restaurant and Tuba Museum, which shut down in 2012. Patricia Kay Dulong, a resident of Okemos for six years, says that she enjoyed the restaurant, nicknamed the 'Tuba Museum' and was upset when it closed.

"It was supposed to be remodeled down at the corner there and now there's nothing," Dulong said. "I really hope that someone is going to buy it and do something with that building there, because it's kind of just sitting there in a very lonely fashion."

Other residents, such as Robert Welch who has lived in Okemos for 26 years, feels let down by failed plans for the abandoned buildings.

"I think the Douglas J project falling apart, a lot of people were excited about it and I guess I understand," Welch said. "It just seems like we got our hopes up that something was going to happen there."

The project Welch is referring to was a proposed $10 million project in Downtown Okemos. Those properties are now up for sale.

"I would like to see some other things happen there, like the proposed restaurant which I just found out this morning sounds like it's not going to happen now," Welch said.

Business plans falling through may be just what some residents are hoping for.

"Several of my neighbors aren't too happy about anything happening down there because they don't want more traffic," Welch said. "We have all the traffic we need right now I can't imagine it getting much worse."

Restaurants and additional retail are what residents such as Welch and Dulong have in mind for the empty spaces, but not everyone has the same vision.

Megan Davis, a resident of Okemos, would like to see more for community members with families and children.

"I would like to see more stuff, something more for the kids," Davis said. "In the winters and stuff when there's not much to do it'd be nice to see something more that they could do inside or something directly in our community because there's a lot of families in the community."

Okemos locals may have a mixed consensus on just what, if anything, should fill the empty lots and vacant buildings but Welch says he just wants something to happen.

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