Updated: Reo Town Building "Shifts"
A portion of Reo Town is closed downtown because parts of a building are in danger of collapse.
The vacant building is less than a block from a major Board of Water and Light construction project on Washington Avenue in Lansing. The city is also doing street work in the area.
While the outside of the building on the 1100 block of Washington looks fine, city crews say there are major problems within. Joists and beams have moved substantially and they're not sure why.
A worker who was inside the building today told city crews he felt the building shift and move. He said it seemed like something had hit the building.
City engineers spent several hours surveying the building's interior, taking notes and measurements.
They don't believe the entire building will collapse, but are very concerned portions of it may.
They are planning to establish a collapse zone on the front and side of the building.
At this point this is the only building in the area that has reported structural problems. City crews call the situation unnerving.
"All I can say is there was street activity, work activity in the street scape, Board of Water and Light is building its new plant too, it's undeniable," Bob Johnson, with City Planning said. "There is work activity in the area. There was also work activity in the building. I don't know. But I do know that there is structural failure and the engineers will help us assess a potential cause."
Johnson says Washington will remain closed until engineers give the all-clear. There's no word on when that will happen. City crews are also concerned about some homes behind the building. They've been working to give those residents another way to access their homes.
A worker inside an empty building said he felt it "shift" today, causing concern for the safety of the structure. Part of Washington Avenue has been closed as a precaution.
The Lansing Police Department has roped off the three-story building as a precaution and engineers have been called in to inspect the damage.
The building is about one block away from the new Board of Water and Light plant construction project, but there doesn't appear to be a link between the two.