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Tag Archive | "95 N. Main"

Saying goodbye to a piece of history


The building at 95 N. Main (on the right) is set for demolition Thursday morning, September 18, to make way for the new Cedar Springs Brewing Company. See a similar photo taken sometime around 1912-1913 on page 3. Photo by J. Reed.

The building at 95 N. Main (on the right) is set for demolition Thursday morning, September 18, to make way for the new Cedar Springs Brewing Company. See a similar photo taken sometime around 1912-1913 on page 3. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

 

By the time you read this, work will probably have begun on the demolition of the building at 95 N. Main—a building that has occupied that site since 1890. The building is being razed to make way for a new chapter in the history of that site and in the town, with the building of a brand new business—Cedar Springs Brewing Company.

Photo of Main Street sometime around 1912-1913, 95 N. Main is on the right.

Photo of Main Street sometime around 1912-1913, 95 N. Main is on the right.

The front view of the building located at 95 N. Main St. Post photo by L. Allen.

The front view of the building located at 95 N. Main St. Post photo by L. Allen.

Before the current building, a hotel known as the Wager House sat on the northeastern part of the property at the SW corner of Main and Maple, in the late 1870s, early 1880s. A residence was located on the western portion of the property. According to the Cedar Springs Story, these two structures were spared in the big fire of 1884. It reported that in an excerpt from the Clipper newspaper, “the cinders were carried over the Cedar Springs House (NW corner of Main and Maple) and the Wager House (SW corner of Main and Maple)…” The hotel was reportedly demolished sometime between 1884 and 1890.

According to assessor’s records, the current two-story building was constructed in 1890 on the NE portion of the property. It was used as a flour mill, with animal feed and hay storage. By 1899, it was used as a grocery store, and an ice house and meat storage area were added to the southern portion of the building. Over the years, there were several groceries located there. The Cedar Springs Story reported that  Ed M. Smith had a grocery there, followed by Thomas & Bassett groceries, Esch’s groceries, and it later became an I.G.A. store, between 1950 and 1955. The rear of the building was added between 1950 and 1960, and the second floor was used for apartments. The residence behind the building was removed between 1960 and 1967 to make way for more parking.

On the SE portion of the property, formerly 87 N. Main, was a large lumber storage building in 1929. It was removed during the 1940s to create an open gravel lot.

In 1982, Cedar Springs Auto Supply, a NAPA dealer moved in and occupied 95 N. Main until 2009. A judge ordered the business to vacate the premises after it was condemned by the city for an inoperable central heating system and Kent County foreclosed due to unpaid taxes. The City of Cedar Springs then exercised its right to buy the building before it went up for auction.

The building has been vacant since then, with remodeling being cost prohibitive. Many residents have called it an eyesore, and are glad to see something being done with it. Asbestos shingles were removed last week in preparation for the demolition.

David Ringler, owner of The Cedar Springs Brewing Company, said that they would try to save some pieces of the building to use in the new one. He has updates on the progress of the new facility on the CS Brewing Company’s facebook page.

Stay tuned as a brand new business takes over that corner—and hopefully stimulates some growth in business in downtown Cedar Springs.

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City rejects offer on 95 N. Main


The building at 95 N. Main shortly before Cedar Auto Supply closed.

By Judy Reed

 

The third time was not the charm for the sale of city-owned property at the southwest corner of Maple and Main Streets.

Liquor Hut, who owns the business just south of the vacant building at 95 N. Main, originally offered to buy the old building, formerly home of Cedar Auto Supply, and demolish it. Last year the business submitted a revised offer saying they would rehabilitate the building. Then, in mid-February, they changed their mind and asked to only buy the two vacant parcels, after they had the building inspected and said they were told that the entire second floor contained asbestos.

City Manager Christine Burns took the offer to the City Council on March 8, but they were not receptive. Most council members agreed that selling off the two vacant lots left the building even less valuable than before, and that the property would be more marketable if the city demolished the building and sold the entire parcel together—four 66×132 lots.

“We can’t afford to keep putting money into this building,” remarked Mayor Pro-tem Christine Fahl. “We had to fix the roof last winter.”

Burns estimated it would cost $8000 to $10,000 to tear it down. They already have $20,000 invested in the building, and estimate that they could probably get $30,000 out of the property if sold as one parcel, which would recoup their costs. They are not allowed to make a profit on the property, since they bought it from Kent County due to a tax foreclosure.

Burns said that there is a fuel oil tank under the sidewalk on Maple Street that will also have to come out, but that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has given them permission to use part of an EPA grant to get that done.

The council asked the city manager to go ahead and get bids on demolishing the building.

 

 

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