08/19/11 Plymouth City Attorney, Nelson Chipman, shared a light-hearted moment with the members of the Redevelopment Commission on August 16 during their regular meeting. Chipman said, “The city is now the proud owner of a building ready to fall down.” Chipman was referring to the building just south of the Yellow River Bridge on North Michigan Street. The building is commonly known as the former Cook Brothers Furniture Store or the Dimmitt Building.
The city has been in negotiations with the Dimmitt family over the last several months in an effort to obtain the property and tear down the building that has been steadily falling into state of disrepair.
Chipman said the purchase was completed at $141,300. Although the building is slated for demolition as a part of the South Gateway Project, it was noted in the meeting that there are trusses in parts of the structure that could possibly be salvaged for use in the future.
Chipman also explained an agreement has been reached for the purchase of a portion of a parcel of land south of the building. The city is purchasing the property of 1,323 square feet from owner Robert Deon.
According to Chipman, the city offered to purchase the 28 feet by 44 feet lot for $3,900.
Deon did not accept the offer, but did agree to sell at $5,900.
Although Chipman did not directly state that the city would or could use a condemnation process to obtain the property, the written agreement with Deon refers to it.
In the agreement, it is explained that the usual, customary and anticipated extra expenses that are associated with a condemnation action along with the city’s desire to obtain a temporary construction easement, in part, justified the increase in the sales price. The easement agreement will allow the right to ingress and egress as workers remove the former Cook /Dimmitt Building; however, it does not include the right to store construction equipment on the easement premises.
The South Gateway Project has been in the works for several years. Plans are to utilize the area between the Yellow River and the viaduct to include, among other things, a more pedestrian friendly walkway as well as enhance the entrance to the city from the south.
Carol Anders Correspondent