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Centertown building demolished

Alex Doty • Jan 6, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The building once home to Harbourfront Hobbies & Crafts in Grand Haven’s Centertown was reduced to rubble Wednesday afternoon.

Demolition workers chewed into the building, located between Morningstar Cafe and J-Dub’s Market & Wine Shop, and turned the old storefront at 707 Washington Ave. into a pile of debris.

Most of the site was cleared of rubble by Thursday.

“We were all standing around out there taking pictures,” said property owner Lisa Passinault, who also owns the adjacent Morningstar Cafe. “I’d never seen that done.”

Passinault and her husband purchased the property this past May.

“We tried to work with the structure that was there,” she said. “It wasn’t worth salvaging.”

The new space will allow for more “back of the house” room at the Centertown restaurant, including the kitchen and storage areas, Passinault said.

“We need to stretch out in the kitchen for sure,” she said, noting that they don’t have any plans to expand the restaurant itself.

Other plans for the now-vacant parcel are in the works, as well, with the possibility of a structure with second-floor residential space.

Passinault said she is excited about what the new project could mean for the neighborhood, and noted that there’s been a lot of positive momentum and development in the Centertown district in recent years.

And she said they’re eager to get to work on their new project.

“We have some drawings,” Passinault said. “We just have to reel in all of the ideas and make a decision. ... If it weren’t winter, we’d start immediately doing something. The first opportunity we have, our contractor and everyone is ready.”

Grand Haven Main Street Executive Director Diane Sheridan said she is encouraged with the investments in the Centertown district, from building repairs and redevelopment to new businesses. She noted that these types of projects can serve as a catalyst for other changes.

“A fresh coat of paint or a new building is a wonderful motivator,” Sheridan said.

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