Update: Gillespie Group plans to buy iconic restaurant Clara’s Lansing Station

LANSING, Mich.(WLNS) – It’s official, local developer the Gillespie Group tells 6 News the group plans to buy Clara’s Lansing Station in downtown Lansing.

The iconic restaurant has been in the community almost 38 years but last month the family-owned business closed its doors for good.

One month ago the historic landscape on Michigan Avenue was filled with hundreds of customers eating their ‘last supper’ and enjoying with family and friends.

Today it’s a much different story as the doors of the long-time family business are closed for good.

“Our hope is what we can bring kinda will remind people that Clara’s was once here but now looks to the future of what that next concept will be,” said Jason Kildea, Director of Real Estate at the Gillespie Group.

Kildea says the company plans to close the sale by July 29th.

He tells 6 News the new buy will cost a pretty penny but it’s well worth it.

“It’s always scary because the costs are high but as long as we can make the numbers work which we feel we can it’s just something you have to do,” said Kildea.

And while it’s too early to discuss exactly what the new venture will look like the group plans to re-open in 2017 as a place to enjoy good eats with good company.

“The building won’t change exterior a whole lot other than maybe some key features adding a patio and something like that but for the most part we want to keep  it this historical that it’s been for the past 50 years,” said Kildea.

Kildea says the group will work hard to maintain some of the restaurants historic charm including that passenger train car you can’t miss when you pull into the parking lot.

Our hope like anything when we do when we open it with a new concept is that something the community embraces and becomes the next Clara’s whatever that might be,” said Kildea.

Kildea says it’s also important for the new project to add some of its own progressive flair into the mix.

If you would like to send your thoughts and ideas to the Gillespie Group on what you think the new development should be, email ideas@gillespie-group.com.

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