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Lansing, Michigan – More than four years in the making, the Adado Riverfront Park stage project has completed phase one. The project, which focused on designing a permanent stage at the 28-acre park, has emerged as an ever-greater opportunity for Greater Lansing—one that includes complete activation of the park, offering opportunities for cultural events and year-round daily activities in the heart of the city. 

Plans for the new stage and surrounding park were presented to the City of Lansing last week that reenvisions the park, creating an urban destination that accommodates a range of programming and activities. The plan boasts an open-air, covered stage, a fluid path from sidewalks to the river’s edge, a central plaza with a gathering area, audience capacity of up to 15,000 and many other amenities. 

“The designs are spectacular,” said Arts Council of Greater Lansing’s executive director, Deborah E. Mikula. “The SmithGroupJJR team listened to everyone’s concerns and ideas and worked them into the final plans, allowing the group to present us with a dynamic vision for the park--one that will activate that space in a variety of unique and interesting ways.” 

Mikula was not alone in her enthusiasm. Other key Lansing partners were equally pleased, including the neighboring learning institution, Lansing Community College. Dr. Brent Knight, LCC president, noted, “This new permanent stage will be a grand manifestation to our downtown landscape, one that will make our community proud.” 

Key to the project getting off the ground was the $40,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant that was awarded to the City of Lansing in 2016. This allowed for public input at several community charrettes that helped to create a shared vision for the park. The funds also permitted the steering committee to contract with SmithGroupJJR for initial designs. 

“Making Lansing a destination city is important to our economic growth and revitalizing the park in a way that makes it accessible to everyone. This will be a great asset to our community. We must have amenities for those that live and work in our downtown, and this will help us to recruit and retain talented workers of all ages, said Mayor Andy Schor. “We are grateful for the community’s support of our vision for our city.” 

Next steps for the project include creating a business and operation plan and identifying and raising funds to support the venture. The project steering committee, led by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing along with area community partners, The City of Lansing, Lansing Economic Area Partners (LEAP), Downtown Lansing Inc. (DLI), Lansing Community College (LCC), Lansing Entertainment & Public Facilities Authority (LEPFA) and Lansing Parks & Recreation, will begin convening again in the near future to look at ways to proceed. 

“Lansing’s time is now and activation of this downtown park will have positive impact on residents and visitors alike,” said Mayor Schor.

View a draft of the designs at https://www.lansingmi.gov/DocumentCenter/View/5554