OKEMOS - For 40 years, Bottoms Up has been a staple in Downtown Okemos. Owner Sherry Fischer announced her retirement and the closing of the store last month and their parking lot has been busy every since. On their Facebook Page, they posted that May 20th will be their last day open offering a retirement sale on all merchandise.
One customer said, "We've been with this place for a long time, so it's going to be sad to have them gone. We're going to miss them."
"It has been a wonderful run here and it has been my joy to help everyone get what they need and encourage them to dance or be in theater groups and I'll miss them dearly," said Fischer.
Bottom's Up is the latest business to close at the corner of Okemos and Hamilton Roads. At the end of 2017, the Okemos Ace Hardware closed after 45 years in business after Owner Jim Raynak retired. Raynak was also the landlord for businesses in the same building including Mitten Raised, Arty Party Studio and Special A'fare Catering who were given 2 months to relocate. These empty storefronts join others in Downtown Okemos including the former Travelers Club International Restaurant & Tuba Museum, White Brothers Music and "The Marc".
"The state of Downtown Okemos has drawn a lot of resident response clamoring for redevelopment," said Chris Buck, Meridian Township Economic Developer Director.
Residents have weighed in at Township Board meetings and even created a Facebook Group called the "Four Corners Alliance of Okemos" to share what they would like to see done to improve the 'four corners' of Okemos and Hamilton Roads.
The Township Board has taken steps to help encourage development in Downtown Okemos, as well as Downtown Haslett, by recently approving a zoning amendment to establish new standards for residential density and building height in Mixed Use Planned Unit Development (MUPUD) Projects.
Resident's hopes of redevelopment in Downtown Okemos may be on the horizon. Douglas J Salon and Spa and Downtown Okemos LLC have announced an unveiling event called "New Spaces, Hometown Faces" regarding a new vision and investment in Downtown Okemos. That event will be held on Thursday, May 24th at 10:30 am at the corner of Hamilton and Okemos Roads.
“I am really excited about the news we have to share with the community on May 24th and look forward to seeing everyone who will be in attendance,” stated Scott Weaver, President of Douglas J Aveda Institutes & Salons.
"We are excited as anyone to see what Douglas J is planning on unveiling," added Buck.
Buck said that at this time, site plans for this project have not been submitted to the Township and that the standard planning process will still have to be followed.