Economic Stimulus: Food Truck Parks


Author: Ghanem AlQemzi

The Greater Lansing area right now would be described as a pit stop for the younger generations. Attracting thousands of freshmen per year, but also saying goodbye to many seniors as they graduate and move on, looking for cities where they can start their career and achieve economic stability. The fact that most graduates decide to leave the area means that the city is missing out on possible revenue that could've been generated through jobs right here in the Lansing area.

I suggest that the Greater Lansing area try to bring those jobs here, by lessening the restrictions on their tax exemption laws, in order to, attract more businesses to open up in the area. Lansing has adopted the Michigan Uniform City Income Tax Ordinance, effective July 1st, 1968 and a few changes has happened to it since then, which makes it outdated for our current struggle of stimulating the economy. Although the Michigan senate has recently, in March of 2017, approved more tax breaks for businesses transferring to Michigan; I believe that the number of new jobs conditioning these breaks is not enough to affect the economy of the Lansing area and that they should increase this prerequisite to adequately match the economic stimulant needed to put Lansing on the tracks towards economic prosperity.

Michigan State University students' love to party, and the bar area located around the Grand River and Abbott corner is a vital area to the community as people gather around from all over East Lansing to drink and celebrate. But there are a few problems one of which is the availability of food around the area. I believe that turning that corner to a community park, acting as a spot for food trucks to congregate would be highly economically beneficial to the East Lansing community in specific and the Greater Lansing area as a whole. With the help of the community, by providing jobs, it will provide a spot for people to come together and enjoy all kinds of different foods. It will be a vital economic stimulant as it generates revenue from those sales.

According to Alex Mayyasi, a food critic for Atlas Obscura and a resident of San Francisco’s Mission district, residing only 100 yards from The Mission Dispatch, which hosts a variety of food trucks providing lunch and dinner to the residents of the community, who wrote the Food Truck Economics article. He concluded that setting up a food truck is quicker, cheaper, and less risky, making it an easier business for chefs to break into. The revenues are exponential, upwards of half a million dollars per truck is considered a good day and a million dollars of revenue per year is around the maximum for a single truck. Josh, the Communications Director at Soma Streat Food Park, another food truck venue in San Francisco, stressed on how the lower barriers to entry enable minority, low-income, and immigrant chefs to start their own business.

Community involvement in the decision making of big projects in this case the Skyvue apartments. In my opinion, a very modern approach and seems out of place when compared to the architecture of the other buildings in the Greater Lansing area. I believe if the community had a vote on the design or location of Skyvue apartments it wouldn't be where it is right now. That location could have been utilized as a community food park or a gathering spot for the residence of the area. Community involvement is essential for any successful city, as it brings the people and the government on the same page resulting in economic prosperity and a better sense of community between individuals.

An example of this principle at work: Soma StreatFood Park