March 13 2013 12:00 AM

Mayor to meet with Niowave’s neighbors

Wednesday, Aug. 15 — Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and other city officials reportedly will meet with Walnut Neighborhood residents to discuss the Niowave pole barn. 

Neighborhood resident Mary Elaine Kiener, who has been active in the fight to change the building’s aesthetics, said the meeting is scheduled for Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Neighborhood Empowerment Center, 600 W. Maple St. A contact with the Mayor’s Office could not be reached to confirm Bernero’s attendance.

Kiener also said Niowave is considering an idea to change the look and feel of its new building, but she did not provide details.

“Niowave has received a proposal that would help Niowave, the city and neighborhood collaborate on a mutually beneficial solution,” she said.

The 14,000-square-foot building was added in early July to the Niowave particle accelerator facility located in the old Walnut Street School west of Old Town. Neighbors have described the giant, white structure as a “monstrosity” and say it ruins the aura of the neighborhood. Over the past month, Niowave officials have said they are researching possibilities for aesthetic upgrades to appease the complaints of neighbors, but nothing has been made public.

Kiener said others attending the meeting include Bob Johnson, director of planning and neighborhood development, Lansing zoning administrator Sue Stachowiak and Joe McDonald, special assistant to the mayor.

Bernero has voiced support for Niowave in a prior interview with City Pulse. He has said that new developments like the Niowave addition “rarely” please everyone and that such expansions are signs of economic development.