Overview of Lansing
Head 90 miles northwest of Detroit, toward the center of the state, and you'll land in Lansing, the capital city of Michigan. Originally named Lansing Township in 1836 after the city in New York from which the pioneers of this new settlement originated, Lansing's humble beginnings gave way after the town was named the new capital of the state in 1847. After the Michigan House of Representatives deemed Detroit to be too close to the Canadian border, as British forces had previously used the close proximity of the Canada to capture Detroit during the war of 1812, they decided that Lansing's location in the middle of the state made more strategic sense. Its choice as the new political epicenter of the Michigan would bring with it massive growth for the city, which has since grown into a bustling metropolis whose industries include government, education, insurance, healthcare, and automobile manufacturing.
Living in Lansing, MI
While the city center of Lansing is dominated by state government buildings, new restaurants, retail stores, and residential developments have recently breathed new life into the downtown area. Part of the Westside of Lansing, this area is considered to be the most socio-economically varied part of the city, as just outside of downtown one will find a large collection of residential neighborhoods with an abundance of rental apartments and homes. Lansing's Eastside is the most ethnically diverse part of Lansing and contains much of the city's commercial districts.
Numerous suburban neighborhoods line Lansing's Southside, the largest and most populous side of the city, while the Northside is home to Capital Region International Airport.
Lansing's daytime population raises by as much as 27% to over 150,000 due to the influx of persons who commute into the city for work, giving the city of lively daytime atmosphere which gives way to a more relaxed ambiance in the evenings.
Lansing Work & Study
If a higher education is what you're looking for, look no further than Lansing. Located in East Lansing, Michigan State University is the largest college campus in the United States. A member of the Big Ten Conference, MSU offers more than 200 different programs of study, and boasts fourteen different degree-granting schools and colleges including three medical schools, a law school, and numerous PhD programs.
Also acclaimed in its field of study, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, located in downtown Lansing, is the largest law school in the nation. Lansing Community College offers state-of-the-art facilities and over 500 areas of study to its 18,000 on-campus students, as well as thousands more who study at the school's twenty-nine extension centers. Lansing is also home to several other smaller institutions of higher learning, as well as numerous public and private primary schools, making a Lansing apartment or home ideal for any family.
As MSU is the largest college campus in the nation, it comes as little surprise that they are one of the largest employers in the area as well. Since Lansing is the capital of the state, the state naturally employs a large percentage of the area's workforce as well. Manufacturing companies like General Motors and medical networks like the Sparrow Health System have a significant presence in Lansing.
Lansing Cost of Living
Boasting a low cost of living (82 in the living index compared to the national average of 100), Lansing provides attractive options for those seeking rental apartments and homes in close proximately to metro areas, but without typical metropolitan premiums. With the average cost of a one-bedroom rental in Lansing at about $600 per month, and two bedroom rentals at well under $800 per month, finding affordable apartments and homes to rent in Lansing is convenient and easy.
Lansing Attractions & Entertainment
If you're a music lover, you'll love Lansing. Scores of bars and clubs in downtown host live acts seven nights a week, and the Lansing Symphon has been entertaining audiences in Lansing since 1929. During the summer months the "Blues on the Square" festival is held along Washington Square and hosts various weekly blues acts from June through August.
Lansing also has several farmers' markets throughout the city. These markets include the year-round historic Lansing City Market located near downtown, while the Westside Farmers' Market, the Old Town Farmer's Market, and the Allen Street Farmer's Market on the city's eastside provide specialty foods during the summer months.
The Potter Park Zoo, located along the Red Cedar River in Lansing, has more than 500 different animal exhibits, as well as many programs and events for children and families. Lansing is also home to numerous museums, including the MSU Museum, the Abrams Planetarium, and the Kresge Art Museum, all of which are located on the campus of Michigan State University. You'll have no trouble finding local culture close to your Lansing apartment or home.
Lansing Special Events
Lansing hosts several annual parades throughout the city, including the Silver Bells in the City Parade, held in celebration of the winter holidays, which attracts over 100,000 spectators every year to view the lighting of Michigan's official Christmas tree in front of the state capital and fireworks show. Annual music festivals are no stranger to Lansing also, as the annual Jazzfest and the Old Town BluesFest host leading musicians, and are two of the larger music festivals held each year in the state. If rock 'n roll is more your thing, you'll enjoy the annual week-long Common Ground festival held in downtown every July, which hosts national rock, metal and hip hop acts.
Any way you cut it, if you're looking for a modern urban or suburban rental apartment or home on a country town budget, it's hard to beat the value of Lansing.