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Wednesday, May 1,2013

Eye sore of the week

by Dylan Sowle
Property: 1623 S. Washington Ave., Lansing

Owner: Gloria and Orlando Spagnuolo

Assessed value: $63,500

Owner says: While looking to sell, city can store its construction materials there

Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: This structure, indicative of so many in the Lansing area, is vacant and nearly windowless. Ribbon windows on the south and east sides have been filled in with masonry block, closing it off from the street — unapproachable to the point of irrelevance. Combined with new car-dependent, competing commercial centers, this approach reduces vibrancy at the street necessary for successful retail, laying waste to many commercial buildings and corridors. Open up facades with windows. Limit sprawling retail. Concentrate on existing structures and corridors.

It seems we’ve finally found the sacred construction equipment burial grounds. The property at 1623 S. Washington Ave., formerly a Little Caesars pizza joint, is now nothing but a storage unit for more orange barrels and caution signs than is usually considered tasteful decorating.

Property owner Gloria Spagnuolo said she’s looking to sell the building, but for now she allows the city to stash all of its extra roadwork goodies in the parking lot. 

Spagnuolo said the city should be completing roadwork nearby and moving the equipment out by the end of May. I’m no business expert, but a lack of road signs and sandbags littering a prospective property is usually a good thing.

“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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