Eyesore Witmark near Grand Rapids finally being torn down

Kent County

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — After sitting vacant for more than two decades, demolition on the old Witmark building north of Grand Rapids began Thursday.

The building on Jupiter Avenue NE near Plainfield Avenue in Plainfield Township has long been dilapidated and township officials have been trying to do something about it for a while.

“This building has been one of the biggest complaints over the years,” Township Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden told News 8. “As we went through the Reimagine Plainfield (development) plan and gathered public input, this was one of the largest comments that we received, that they would like to see this building either revitalized or demolished and something new going there, so this is great to see some activity on that site and working with the owner to see some new development go in its place.”

Witmark owned the property for nearly 30 years, opening it as a showroom in 1969. As Witmark folded, the property was sold off to an out-of-state company that never found a new tenant. The building fell into disrepair, with the company doing just enough to keep it in line with ordinances. Over the summer, the township board took action, ordering it to be torn down because of its dangerous and blighted conditions.

The building owner, not taxpayers, is footing the bill for the demolition.

The property is now listed for sale.

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