Lansing looking to revitalize abandoned buildings

Marty Fitchett feels like the area around Hosmer street could use some improvement.

"Neighborhood's not the greatest," he says.

But the city of Lansing and LEAP are hoping an investment in the abandoned warehouse will change that.

"That whole Hosmer street area is certainly ripe for redevelopment and has great potential," explains Karl Dorshimer of LEAP. "It's a big building and, you know, this type of development really takes advantage of the building and really brings it back to life."

A $2.9 million investment in the warehouse will revitalize the building to turn it into a storage facility. Neighbors hope the business will bring some energy to the area.

"This neighborhood's been pretty quiet for as long as I've lived here," says Tabitha Potter, who lives right across the street from the warehouse. "It'd be kind of nice to see a little bit more activity coming in."

Fitchett says he thinks business in the area will help Lansing as a whole:

"Lansing needs something like this to not only bring some light to the bad parts of town, but to supply the community with jobs. Because it's tough out here."

Which is exactly what the city and LEAP are trying to accomplish with other abandoned buildings across Lansing.

"You can't have a whole lot of vacant buildings or buildings that don't look good or are functionally obsolete," Dorshimer describes, "because it just reflects poorly on the city and who wants to live in a community that has a lot of abandoned buildings?"

Dorshimer says moves like this one are becoming a trend and will help bring business back to the areas around Lansing that need it most.

A proposal for the warehouse will be sent to the city next Monday. If approved, construction starts in the spring and should be completed by December 2017.