Historic eyesore demolished in Carson City

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 8:38 am on Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Larry Jordan of Carson City demolished the former Michigan Produce building in downtown Carson City on Sept. 6 after purchasing the condemned property from Montcalm County. – Courtesy photo

CARSON CITY — A former bustling produce manufacturing building in the heart of Carson City later became an unavoidable eyesore in town.

Montcalm County Building Department Director Scott Minard eventually condemned the property at 102 E. Elm St. The Michigan Produce building had also been an apartment complex for a time in the 1970s.

Larry Jordan purchased the property for $50 at the Montcalm County no minimum bid foreclosure auction in October 2011. The property had previously failed to sell at the minimum bid auction after being listed for $16,158.11.

Jordan, who owns Crystal Family Hair Care with his wife, Norma, lives just east of the property, purchased the building to get rid of it.

On Sept. 6, Jordan did just that, with the help of his brother-in-law’s company, Tri County Construction in Linwood. Demolition work began around 11 a.m. and the building was gone by 5 p.m.

Nine 40-yard dumpsters and two 20-yard dumpsters of debris were hauled out, along with between 75 to 85 loads of concrete. Each 40-yard dumpster costs $500, so Jordan has invested considerably more than $50 in the project at this point.

“My biggest goal was to clean it up and get it out of there,” he said. “It was an eyesore and it had so many rodents that we got out of there. It was so far gone that the entire roof was caved in. We had kind of a difficult time tearing it down because the walls wanted to fall out into the streets.”

The former Michigan Produce building at 102 E. Elm St. in downtown Carson City as it appeared before it was demolished Sept. 6. – Courtesy photo

Jordan said some of the bricks and blocks were salvaged by local people for use on patios, fire pits and the like. Jordan was also able to salvage some lumber.

“The city is working with me really well on this,” he said. “They’re giving me a local spot to dump the concrete. They have some used soil that they’re letting me used to backfill the hole.”

Carson City Administrator Mark Borden said the city was able to provide Jordan with leftover soil from last year’s city water project. Borden said the city once received a demolition quote of $17,000 for getting rid of the building.

“We were very thankful that he would buy it and pay all the costs for taking care of it,” Borden said. “Nobody has said, ‘Oh, it’s too bad that’s not around anymore.’

It’s a block off Main Street and you’ve got lots of parking. I’m hopeful he’s able to recoup some of the money he’s put into it.

Now that the building is gone, Jordan has no immediate plans to build anything at the site.

“What I do with the property from this point on is really up in air,” he said.

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