MCC to lease small piece of land to J.R.’s Roller Castle owner

By Ryan Jeltema • Last Updated 7:24 pm on Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SIDNEY — Montcalm Community College (MCC) is working with the new owner of J.R.’s Roller Castle in Greenville to possibly give the former roller skating rink new life.
The Board of Trustees approved a lease agreement with Robert Olson of Gowen for a 1.31-acre plot of land behind the empty facility during Tuesday evening’s meeting. Olson wants to lease the land, which was part of the former Montcalm County 4-H Fairgrounds, for $500 a year for six years with the option to buy it for $65,000.
The college also would have the right of first refusal to purchase the land should there be future interest.
Olson is planning to develop the roller castle into a banquet center. MCC Vice President for Administrative Services Jim Lantz said the leased property would be landscaped into a park-like area for outdoor events and wedding photography behind the center, which the trustees supported.
MCC President Bob Ferrentino said the $65,000 option to buy is a reasonable price based on the price the college paid for the entire fairgrounds two years ago.
Trustee Roger Thelen said his only reservation on the deal is the chance that the real estate market might dramatically improve in the next five years, giving the college a chance to make more money on the property.
“I don’t see that happening,” said Board President Karen Carbonelli. “I don’t see how this would negatively affect us at all.

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