Vacant buildings turning into an anomaly for Old Town

Zachary Barnes
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter

The vacant commercial buildings in Old Town aren’t set to be empty for much longer. One may notice when walking down the few streets that make up the Old Town neighborhood that there are a noticeable number of vacant buildings for such a small area. For the part of Lansing that prides itself so much on growth, it can be seen as a sad sight. But by no means are vacancies or trying to fill these buildings a problem for Old Town. “We are pretty much at capacity in terms of our commercial spaces at this point,” said Austin Ashley, Executive Director of the Old Town Commercial Association.

More land owned by absentees, study finds

By BRIAN BIENKOWSKI
Capital News Service
LANSING – Landowners in Michigan and other Great Lakes states increasingly don’t live on the property they own, making it difficult for conservation officials to reach them and teach them about stewardship. Foresters and conservation experts say it’s more about who cares than who’s there — but recent research shows that caring isn’t always enough. Absentees include farmers who rent their property to others, as well as people who buy land as a place to play or as an investment. About 42 percent of farmland in the United States is absentee-owned, according to Agren Inc., an agricultural and environmental consulting firm in Iowa. In Michigan, for example, half of farm owners are absentee, and they own 41 percent of the state’s farm acreage, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.