Demolition approved for Grand Rapids buildings

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids' Historic Preservation Committee voted unanimously to allow buildings at 35 and 41 South Division avenue to be torn down.

From the front, an onlooker can see that one of the two buildings is slanted and leans up against the other. The buildings are on the corner of Division and Weston in the Heartside District.

Rockford Construction plans to buy the property and have it torn down. During public comment, the company's board chair, Kurt Hassberger, said a chain-linked fence will be placed around the soon-to-be empty lot.

During deliberation, the committee agreed to impose a 12-month limit on the use of a chain-linked fence, so the lot doesn't sit vacant and collect trash.

Hassberger said the company plans to move into demolition phase as quickly and as safely as possible. He said there's no clear plan regarding what will be developed at that corner.

Only one other person spoke during public comment. An architect agreed with the demolition. He just wanted to make sure the soon-to-be empty lot doesn't collect trash.

Hassberger said the lot will be managed to prevent a litter issue.

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