Controversial mobile home park gets torn down

A little more than three years after everyone was kicked out, the Life O’Riley mobile home park is being torn down.

It ends a major chapter in the saga that has surrounded the south Lansing property since February of 2014. That’s when officials from the Ingham County Health Department, citing unsanitary conditions, evicted everyone on short notice in the middle of a brutal winter.

City officials scrambled to find housing for dozens of residents.

When it’s all said and done, city officials say the situation will have cost the city close to $1 million.

“The neighborhood has had to live with this blight far too long,” said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. “The city, county and state gave the owner of this derelict property every opportunity to clean up their mess, and now we have the legal authority to remove this eyesore from the neighborhood.”

Lansing police will also use the site to do the kind of training that’s not normally available to them.

“These opportunities for advanced live training do not come along often,” Chief Mike Yankowski said in the same release. “The chance to conduct exercises in a controlled environment is so valuable to our tactical team. Being able to use this site and its security will ensure there will be no risk to the citizens or neighborhood.”

The property is still owned by Whalen Holdings. The city says the state suspended the owner’s license to run a mobile home park on the site, but still gave him two years to fix the property up.

Lansing Director of Planning and Neighborhood Development previously told 6 News that once everything is demolished, it will sit vacant for the next year, until the county can foreclose on the land. That’s unless the owner suddenly decides to pay the more than $1 million he owes to reclaim the property.

Bernero says he’d like to see the property get redeveloped.

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