Mold forces Grand Haven businesses out temporarily

Ottawa County

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Business owners at the Chinook Pier in Grand Haven will be forced to temporarily move after the city deemed the building unfit for use this spring.

The city says high water levels pushed into the building’s crawl space and caused mold. The city first noticed the issue in August. After spending around $25,000 to fix the issue at the time, they say they’re still dealing with a large amount of mold in the building. 

“We were hoping this wouldn’t happen, but our best advice at this time is that (the businesses) can’t open,” Mayor Bob Monetza said. “Basically, we’re going to have to gut these buildings and clean them out and then restore everything that was disturbed.”

The Chinook Pier houses 12 businesses, all of which have been closed for the winter season. The property was originally a privately-owned facility built on public property through a land lease. The city took ownership of the property about 15 years ago. 

grand haven chinook pier
Business will have to move out of Chinook Pier in Grand Haven due to a mold problem. (Jan. 6, 2020)

City leaders are now in discussion about making the historic Grand Trunk Depot available for some tenants. They say the depot will likely only fit three to four tenants, leaving several to explore other open spaces throughout the downtown area.

“We’re going to do what we can to help our tenants have a soft landing from this,” Monetza said.

Monetza says while the city does not have concrete numbers, initial estimates put the cost to fix the problem at about $1 million. About $300,000 of that would be used for the remediation process alone.

As the city works to fund several infrastructure projects also compromised by high water levels, they say this project is up in the air.

“The city’s resources are being pulled in a lot of different directions,” Monetza said. “(The Chinook Pier Shops are) nice to have, but when you’re talking about storm systems being inundated and massive erosion and all that, this is not necessarily at the top of our list.”

The city will discuss this issue and their options moving forward at the city council meeting Monday. You can find the agenda here.

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