ArticleID: 77
Date: 4/15/2001
Written By: Captain Jackson

by Captain Jackson

The weather might have been typical March but the date was April tenth of the year Two Thousand and One. The event was a symbol of probably the most important advance in the history of Jackson, Michigan in over a half a century. Politicians tossed dirt, interviews were granted, and photos taken while locals looked on. The event was the ground breaking for the new Consumers Energy facility.

Located on the site of the old Jackson Post Office on Otsego Street, the new Consumers building will be using that facade to introduce a fourteen story building, along with a campus that will include two four story parking structures and a tri-ad for all of the citizens of Jackson to visit and enjoy. For those of you who haven`t been living in Jackson for some time this means the first large scale building to be constructed in this city in well over fifty years, and proof that this "lump of coal" city is actually turning into a place worthy of living and raising a family.

The Consumers building you grew up knowing was built in 1927. For those of you who moved here lately that may seem unlikely, as the architecture is not the typical "Art Deco" of that period. And while it may have looked like the most "modern" building of the downtown Jackson area, in reality it has been quite antiquated for years. One can always add wallpaper, but the interior workings of a structure can not be changed that easily.

Called the "Grand New Vision", the person most responsible for this project is our City Manager Warren Renando. Working with Consumers executives, local politicians and the general public, Warren is the one person able to bring everything together to make this project possible. Don`t get me wrong, it`s not that Consumers Energy necessarily wanted to relocate their world headquarters. It`s just that in order to stay, they needed help from the city to accomplish this goal to build the new headquarters they needed. And as Consumers exec Carl English said, "Consumers (Energy) could not do it by itself. This is probably the first time the City and County has come together anywhere in Michigan to make such a project become reality."

In addition to many of Consumers Energy executives, many dignitaries were on hand including most of the Jackson City Council, DDA Executive Director Kathleen Eriksen, City Police Chief Ervin Portis, Mayor Martin Griffin, Mickey Mortimer, Clark Bisbee, Nick Smith and Phil Hoffman to name but a few. Even Lt. Governor Dick Posthumus made it a special point to attend and share his blessing for our ever growing Emerald City.

Copyright 2001, CFC

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