Michigan Taxpayers Shell Out $5 Million for Lansing Concert Venue

by Scott McClallen


Michigan taxpayers will pay at least $7.75 million for a new entertainment venue in Downtown Lansing.

The Michigan Strategic Fund on Wednesday approved $5 million of taxpayer dollars for the venue. The Center Square reported the planned $21 million venue in February.

The Ovation Music and Arts Center will sit on an acre of vacant property on the corner of South Washington Ave. and Lenawee Street. The Ovation is expected to open in 2025.

Lansing is spending $8.5 million in city bonds for the project, and the state and federal government is giving another $2.75 million, accompanied by some private funds.

When completed, the arts center’s main stage viewing area will have a capacity of about 2,000 patrons. The two-story building will house the Lansing Public Media Center and retail and office space, including a rooftop bar and restaurant space.

Project officials claim the center will create 159 full-time equivalent jobs.

The arts center will be adjacent to the former Lake Trust Credit Union site, now being transformed into multifamily housing and office space. The Ovation project aims to attract more people downtown.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor thanked state partners for the support.

“The Ovation will be a monumental game changer for downtown Lansing. This venue will help transform and energize the southern part of our downtown, bringing people from all over the region to live performances, events, and concerts throughout the year,” Schor said in a statement. “I’m thankful for the support we have received from the State of Michigan, our legislators, and other local partners in our community. Lansing residents tell me how excited they are for this to get built and open and I can’t wait to join them at a show here in the coming years.”

In total, the MSF approved taxpayer subsidies for $8.5 million for Ashley Capital to redevelop the former Buick City site in Flint, $984,000 for the expansion of Michigan Automotive Compressor, and $2 million for the Detroit Downtown Partnership to improve pedestrian infrastructure.

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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.




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