DEMOLITION is underway on the old Simplicity building, located at 209 S. Oak St. in Durand. The city of Durand announced on Tuesday, Aug. 22 that the building was slated to be demolished, and the process began on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Abatement work took place first, and now the building demolition is in full swing, as can be seen in the photo to the left. The northeast section of the building, bordering McBride Street, has been razed, and a work crew could be seen cleaning up debris on the afternoon of Wednesday, Nov. 1.
The building, which was opened by Simplicity founder George Behnke in 1925, has sat vacant for decades, saved for a few years when a cart company used the property as storage. The blighted property consists of 2.25 acres of commercially-zoned land that is located west of Durand Union Station and borders McBride Street to the north, S. Oak Street to the west, and railroad tracks to the south and east.
The Shiawassee County Land Bank Authority, created in 2022, has contribute $109,000 to tear down the Simplicity building, and the city of Durand will foot the remainder of the bill, approximately $159,000. Gentry Demolition/Huntington Machinery, of Indiana, is overseeing the teardown.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)