LANSING, Mich. — Park’s Furniture has closed after more than 50 years in business.
The city of Lansing ordered the store to close in November after inspectors detected “imminent safety issues.” The violations included blocked exits and an unsafe entrance to the bathroom, according to Brian McGrain, the city’s director of economic development and planning.
Neil Park, the owner of the furniture store and five other properties on the 900 block of West Saginaw, declined to comment on the closure.
Now that the furniture store is closed, some residents in the area say it’s an opportunity to revive the block.
“I think a lot of the neighbors over there would love to have a place to go like a grocery store or somewhere that they could walk to,” said Walnut Neighborhood Organization President Dale Schrader.
The building the furniture store occupied was built in 1910.
But the 1950s, the area surrounding it was a small but thriving commercial corridor. There was a hardware store, a grocery store and a pharmacy. Toolan's Delicatessen, which is still in operation, also opened around that time.
But with the city expanded Sagnaw Street to four lanes in the 1960s, the surrounding neighborhoods were cut off from the business district, and “that kind of was the death knell for that particular commercial corridor,” Schrader said.
The Oakland Saginaw Commercial Association works to connect businesses to the communities they serve. Board member Amber Moe says residents in the neighborhood would be eager to see the Park’s Furniture building be renovated.
“The people who live there know this is an area that is beautiful and special,” Moe said. “It’s unfortunate that Park’s Furniture is no longer there, but we’re seeing it as an opportunity to make the area a great place to spend time.”
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