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Sunday, January 15,2012

Eyesore of the week -2

by Nyssa Rabinowitz

Address: 1478 W. Grand River Ave., Okemos

Owner: Crossroads Investment, Inc.

Taxpayer: Crossroads Investment, Inc.

Assessed: $100,700

Owner Says: Could not be reached for comment

Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: Blight isn’t just an urban thing. The fact is, blight occurs at all levels of the built environment, but we are only used to seeing blight at the most urban and rural levels. But blight, like this collection of buildings on West Grand River Avenue, is there, even in places like Okemos. This type of blight is often symptomatic. As rural areas are enveloped in development, certain rural building types such as barns and out buildings located on the fringes become obsolete — caught in building limbo, out of place between the rural and the suburban. These buildings are a reminder that the built environment is in a constant state of flux.

It’s hard to imagine a collection of derelict buildings so close to a major development like the Meridian Mall in Okemos, yet here they sit just a mile away. The trees are overgrown and wrapping dangerously around the abandoned buildings. Paint is chipping away and rust stains can clearly be seen from the road. A “for sale” sign advertising the land sits at the edge of the property, but I doubt any buyers will be interested in purchasing the site with these abandoned buildings staking the ground for their own.

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