The future of South Lyon matters

Darby O’Donnell ’22, Entertainment Editor

It is no secret that the landscape of South Lyon is changing. With the downtown being renovated, new living facilities being built, and a variety of new structures being created throughout the town, the future of the community is a hot topic.

While some people are familiar with big changes in downtown South Lyon, such as the rebuilding of the South Lyon Hotel and the opening of clothing stores like Venue and The Coral Sash, many fail to notice the various renovations and establishments that are also popping up around town. It is surprising to see how few South Lyon High School students are aware of what is happening in their community, even when the change is right before their eyes.

While these students know that South Lyon is generally changing, they often aren’t aware of how. Sophomore Grace Robbins admitted, “I don’t really know what’s going on in South Lyon. There’s construction all over downtown, and there’s a bunch of new restaurants opening, but I don’t really pay attention.”

For the most part, people get the general gist of what’s going on in town, and are excited to see change in the community. Sophomore Sydney Gratopp said, “I feel like I know what’s going on in South Lyon…kind of. From what I’ve heard, I think downtown is going to be really cool.” 

While there are many people, like Gratopp, who are generally well informed on the changes in South Lyon, there are still many who aren’t. If more people became knowledgeable on local events, they would be a lot more likely to support some of these new businesses and renovations.

No one is more aware of this issue than the owner of the Lemon Tree, Annie Buchtrup, who stated, “Without town support, we would not survive. The whole reason I opened the Lemon Tree was to help grow our downtown.” She also notes that the Lemon Tree has exciting changes coming, all of which will benefit South Lyon. 

The Lemon Tree opened in 2017, selling unique and high quality products from local artists and craftspeople. Selling anything from handmade recycled dog toys to scented soaps, the business takes pride in its own individuality and warm customer service, encouraging customers to pop in and get to know the employees.

Buchtrup added, “The Lemon Tree has worked so hard to constantly find new and unique products to give to the people of South Lyon. This is the best town I’ve ever lived in, and I hope it continues to grow and thrive,” She continued, “I am excited for the upcoming changes of the Lemon Tree, and I would stay tuned for more to come!”

However, the Lemon Tree isn’t the only big change happening in South Lyon. Recently, it was revealed that Dan Schwegler had purchased the RCA building with plans to convert it into an Italian restaurant and office space. The restaurant will be a family-run business, and plans involve restaurant seating on the first and third floors, and office space on the second floor. Schwegler also plans to modernize the third floor, giving the restaurant rooftop seating and an auxiliary bar, year round.

By recognizing and supporting these new or developing businesses, students would be doing a good service to the community. 

That being said, not all changes in South Lyon are popular. Many disagree with the decisions to build new neighborhoods, especially in the place of Erwin Orchard. The future of the Orchard is a public discussion, and if enough students get involved, they may have a say in the final decision. By talking to city and government officials, students can make a big difference.

Sophomore Jessica Shaker said, “I try my best to keep up with what’s happening in South Lyon, and I know that I don’t like some of the things happening. We don’t need any more neighborhoods, and I feel like some of the history of South Lyon is being taken away. I want to do something about it.”

Shaker should use her knowledge of the events in South Lyon to share her opinions with government officials, and make a lasting impact on her changing community. 

South Lyon is changing, for better or for worse. It is important for students to recognize these changes, and do something about them. Students have the ability to support local businesses and to be involved in the decisions made within the community, and by doing so, students could make a big impact on the future of South Lyon. 

Photo by Kendyl Laesch

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