Hastings City Manager Jeff Mansfield told the City Council in a memo that Smith Equities, who had presented a plan to develop the former Moose Building on South Michigan Avenue into retail business and apartments, is no longer interested in the project.
Another developer who was initially interested in rehabilitating the building is now committed to other projects, Mansfield said Monday.
“The building is not salvageable; it appears to be at the end of its life,” he said. The DDA has agreed to pay for the demolition of the building, with the request they be reimbursed if the city sells the site for development, he said.
With the council’s enthusiastic approval to demolish the building, Mansfield will develop a plan for interim use for the site for the council to approve.
When they have the final cost of demolition, including disposal of environmentally sensitive materials, if there are any, they will recommend funding for the work, he said.
The site will likely be grass along Michigan Avenue and the extension of City Lot #8 on the west side of the site. There are developers still interested in the site, but not the building. “We believe the site will be more attractive for redevelopment after the building is demolished.”
Despite strenuous objections from Councilwoman Brenda McNabb-Stange that the agreement with the city was vague and lacked many details and specifics, the Hastings Rotary and Kiwanis clubs were approved to run a concession stand for the 2018 Thornapple Plaza season and to serve alcohol at 24 entertainment events.
The agreement is the same as last year Mansfield said, “It was a handshake agreement and worked well,” he said.
David Solmes, representing the Rotary, said he would be happy to work with the city to address any conflicts with other events, and the specific dates and events when they get the 2018 season schedule.
Mayor Exchange Day will be April 23, when Frankenmuth officials visit the city with Hastings returning the visit on May 16.
The City of Frankenmuth, in Frankenmuth Township, Saginaw County, has a population of 5,131. Bordered by the Cass River, it is noted for its Bavarian-style architecture, an Octoberfest and Bronners Christmas Store, billed as the World’s Largest Christmas Store. It has a council/manager form of government.
Also approved were the Hastings Rotary Whiffle Ball tournament/fundraiser at Fish Hatchery Park on June 2; FlexFab’s 10th annual 5K run/walk on June 23 and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at Tyden Park on Aug. 3 and 4.