THE SIMPLICITY BUILDING on Oak Street in Durand partially collapsed last weekend. The city of Durand responded on Monday, Sept. 13 and the area was quickly fenced off. The cause of the collapse remains unknown.
According to Durand City Manager Cameron Horvath, the city is “speculating that this past weekend’s weather with high winds and heavy rain played a role, coupled with the age and condition of the building.”
Horvath explained that it is the southern most section of the building that seems to have sustained the most damage – a portion that is wooden construction. He stated that part is not salvageable and will need to be demolished and cleaned up.
In recent years, the future of the Simplicity property, now city-owned, has often been discussed with thoughts given to possible redevelopment. In April 2017, the Durand City Council, following the recommendations of then city manager, Colleen O’Toole, passed a Blighted Areas Ordinance for the purpose of seeking state resources. In May 2017, the council designated the Simplicity property as the first blighted property and in 2019, a workshop/open house was held to discuss planning strategies.
The Simplicity factory sits on 2.25 acres of commercially zoned land located west of the Depot, bordering McBride Street to the north and railroad tracks to the south and east.
Horvath offered that the building has been shown to potential buyers twice in his recent time with the city. “The potential for redevelopment certainly still exists and I believe that remains preference number one for the city,” he offered.
The city of Durand will be holding the regular council meeting on Monday, Sept. 20 with some discussion planned for the building.
(Independent Photo/Justin Collard)