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Wednesday, June 13,2012

Eye candy of the week

by Amanda Harrell-Seyburn

Property: 611 S. Capitol Ave., Lansing

Owner: 611 South Capitol Properties LLC

Assessed value: $58,900

Gateways are points of entry and departure from the community. Much like the New Cross Road in Georgian London, Lansing’s South Capitol Avenue is a gateway to the mid-Michigan region via Interstate 496. 

All too often, modern urbanism has diminished the significance of entry points in and out of communities. It’s not uncommon to see gateways marked by non-descript buildings, uninspiring signage or simply nothing. Significant architecture should greet visitors and citizens alike as they pass by.

The latter is underway on South Capitol. When you combine the vision of a local business owner and a local architect, you get great things. Mayor Virg Bernero’s initiative inspired Roger Thornburg, owner of Investors Equity Group, and David VanderKlok of Studio Intrigue Architects, to recognize this property’s role in improving the aesthetics of this gateway by restoring the beautiful foursquare house — including the original wood siding — and updating it with amenities that keep it relevant for today’s contemporary lifestyle. 

This mixed-use building, including an office and two residential units, is a great start to the changing landscape of South Capitol. 617 S. Capitol Ave. is next in line — look for its restoration to be complete sometime late next summer. Forecast: South Capitol is the gateway to watch.

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