July 10 2013 12:00 AM

Property: 565 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing 

Assessed value: $270,700

Owner says: Could not be reached for comment

A Japanese tourist arrives in East Lansing and is overwhelmed by the awesome architecture of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum — then he looks across to see this boarded-up, brown, brick pile of a building. Since 2007, this property has housed several restaurants — Taco Bell, Spartan Gyro, National Coney Station — none of which have stayed for long. (The Taco Bell moved across the street; the others just disappeared.) 

The brick is covered in a drab combo of red and brown paint and has four boarded-up street-side windows to match the muddy paint job. The wooden columns that once hoisted a National Coney Station sign now look like freight boxes with peeling paint and smashed-in bases — a likely result from the droves of drunken college students who just wish they could get another Coney. And the front doors, unlike the side door and windows, are not boarded up, which reveals a ceiling that has significant water damage with browning and sagging ceiling tiles. If the Broad was meant to attract visitors and new restaurants to East Lansing, then this building stands in direct defiance of that goal — it’s a memorial to failure, blight and a terrible color scheme.