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Chinook Pier building C approved for demolition

In a previous meeting, the City Council approved buildings A and B for demolition.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich — All three buildings at the city-owned Chinook Pier will be meeting the wrecking ball.

New cost estimates for the repair and remediation work for building C, which has been the home of the Dairy Creme and Nautical Knots businesses, have come back higher than had been expected. As the new estimates reached closer to $200,000 for the work, Grand Haven’s City Council approved demolishing the structure, along with buildings A and B.

RELATED: Grand Haven to demolish 2 Chinook Pier shopping center buildings over mold concerns

“After the bid process, we were faced with a couple challenges,” said Ashley Latsch, assistant to the city manager. “Upon going out to bid, we only received a couple proposals for two of the three portions of work, so we saw bids for remediation and restoration. The challenge was, we didn’t receive any proposals for an adequate fix of the crawl space itself.”

Latsch said this caused city staff to re-engage with the engineers from Abonmarche to determine what work would need to be done to make building C ready for tenants.

“In that process, we learned some things that we didn’t anticipate originally,” she said.

Updated reports indicate that drywall around the base of the floor show elevated levels of moisture, and the subfloor and floor joists are saturated.

Latsch noted that Fishbeck, the city’s chosen mold inspection company, recommends removal of anything that measures above 20 percent moisture saturation. Building C measured at about 23 percent moisture saturation in the floor joists and subfloor, with the drywall measuring much higher.

In a previous meeting, the City Council approved buildings A and B for demolition after months of study upon the discovery of mold in the crawl spaces caused by the high water levels last year. The council directed city staff to pursue remediating building C, with the total cost estimate then being roughly $115,000.

“I was one who wasn’t in favor of keeping building C with previous cost estimates due to the risk going forward on the investment,” Councilman Ryan Cummins said during Monday’s meeting. “These options don’t include the restoration costs, so these numbers are worse now than the estimates initially. I don’t see the financial benefit at this point.”

Options for remediation and fixing the crawl space in building C include: adding a drainage system, which was ruled out because of the high water levels and constant maintenance, and came with a $124,100 price tag; remove the crawl space by filling the area with sand and gravel and adding a new concrete floor at a cost of $133,000; or lowering the finished floor to grade and setting it on top of a new concrete slab on the structure’s current foundation, which could cost about $145,000.

On top of this, the minimum costs of restoration, in a best-case scenario, would be $25,000.

“I was one of the ones in favor of saving the building with the previous numbers,” Councilman Mike Dora said Monday night. “In light of what has been presented to us, with some further investigation, I can’t see a way I could still do that.”

City Manager Pat McGinnis said that when he saw these numbers, he asked about the possible options.

“When you look at the dollars is where it falls short,” he said. “We could do these things, but you’re going to end up with a 40-year-old building that you’ve spent more than what it would cost to build a new building.”

The council then approved adding building C to the lists of structures set for demolition. Later in the evening, the council accepted the low bid from Melching Demolition, of Muskegon, to take the buildings down at a total price of $46,000, which includes the additional $8,000 needed for the demolition of building C.

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