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Wednesday, March 20,2013

Eye Sore of the Week

by Dylan Sowle

Property: 6109 S. Cedar St., Lansing

Owner: Blodgett Oil Co. Inc.

Assessed value: $86,700

Owner says: Not fixing till we find a tenant

Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: Gas stations are a 20th-century building typology, the epitome of single-use, car-oriented development. Although gas stations were designed with some architectural flair into the mid-century, in the final quarter of the century, function trumped form. As single-use, car-oriented places are fortunately becoming less favorable, former gas station buildings struggle to remain relevant. With the gas pumps gone, a vacant gas station building is an opportunity for new development — preferably one that is mixed-use and pedestrian oriented so that it may remain relevant for many, many, many years.

“No shirt, no shoes, no service,” warns the first sign on the empty Shell station at the corner of Cedar Street and Miller Road. But a friendly “No Trespassing” sign next to it assures that you won’t be getting service no matter how fashionable your attire.

Boards and broken signage decorate the backside of the former gas station/car wash at 6109 S. Cedar St., while its paint-chipped and vacant front greet passersby. A couple of half-empty bottles of cranberry juice and some stronger stuff lie forgotten around the property. The only sign of life here is a few pigeons hanging around the rafters that might try to surprise you if you get too close to their turf.

Chuck Abraham, whose LLC pays taxes on the property, says that he’s been looking at potential new businesses to fill the empty space, but nothing has been set in stone yet.

“We don’t want to spend the money to fix it up unless we’re sure someone is actually going to come in and use it,” he said.

“Eyesore of the Week” is our look at some of the seedier properties in Lansing. It rotates each week with Eye Candy of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail eye@lansingcitypulse.com or call Andy Balaskovitz at 999-5064.

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