Ottawa-Butler block gets another Chance

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LANSING—The 5-acre block where Ottawa and Butler intersect is a modern day ghost town. Houses are sectioned off with caution tape. The trees and the grass lay dead, symbolizing the decay of what was once a flourishing neighborhood.

Restoration is in sight for the block, however, now that the Michigan Association of Broadcasters has purchased the property. The association was looking for a headquarters closer to the state capitol said Karole White, President of the MAB.


The property was bought from a bank for $160,000. The Ottawa/Butler block has been a sought after property for years, but has yielded no results for eager realtors. A proposed $12 million mixed-use development plan was considered a few years ago, but the developers lost the land to foreclosure.

Other plans have ranged from re-locating historic houses to putting in an apartment complex. In the end, however, the proposed plans have not worked due to a lack of either financial or popular support.

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters plans on using only a portion of the property said White. White said that they would be interested in looking for a developer partner to use the land for something that would go along with the neighborhood association’s plans.

“We want to build something that could be used by all of the community,” said White. She added that no immediate plans had been established.


Hazel Bethea, president of the Genesee Neighborhood Association is confused again by the most recent attempt at restoring the property. She said that she is confused about the use of the property, and wishes that they would leave it be.

With redevelopment in sight, some neighbors are pleasantly optimistic.

“Anything that will clean up this community is fine with me,” said Christian Livingston. Livingston said he walks by the block almost daily, and hates seeing the caution tape and the dead trees.

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