Nov. 24 2010 12:00 AM

5814 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Lansing


Property: 5814 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Lansing

Owner: Lansing Storage Centers

Assessed Value: $992,900

Are you familiar with 5814 S. Pennsylvania Ave.? As a kind of typical, nondescript large south Lansing retail space, you might remember it as the building that housed the former Ollie Fretter Home Appliance Store. It still looks pretty much the same these days — or does it? Let’s take a closer look.

Peer through the windows. Where you might expect to see an appliance showroom filled with ovens, stove top ranges, washers, dryers and refrigerators, you will find something altogether unexpected — aisles upon aisles of storage units. My Space Self Storage has transformed the vacant retail space into a storage haven.

South Lansing is home to some of the city’s largest retailers and, subsequently, the greatest amount of retail space in the area. The vitality of a community can be measured by the economic vitality of its commercial corridors. Vacant retail space negatively impacts a community because emptiness, simply put, is an indication of economic decline and divestment. Vacancies among large retailers are particularly damaging. Lansing has been quite successful in finding creative ways to reuse these spaces while trying to mitigate future vacancies. My Space Self Storage is another clever adaptive reuse. Here’s to thinking outside the big box store.

“Eye candy of the Week" is our weekly look at some of the nicer properties in Lansing. It rotates each with Eyesore of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail

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