White Pigeon – Judge orders improvements for historic building

St. Joseph County District Court Judge Jeff Middleton ordered safety-related improvements of a White Pigeon commercial building by the end of August.

If such improvements are not completed by then, Middleton said there’s a chance he will order the demolition of the Tasty Nut Shop.

The latest hearing on the fate of the historic building took place last week. A history of the situation was reviewed and after nearly an hour of discussion, Middleton gave the three-month directive and said the parties would reconvene Aug. 31.

In the months since the village condemned the century-old building and blocked off the perimeter around it, owner Marjorie Hemminga has closed the business temporarily and Tasty Nut Shop – through quitclaim deed – was put under the control of Union Hall Block Building Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization.

Nonetheless, White Pigeon village attorney Roxanne Seeber maintained the building remains in a perilous state and that the most effective solution is to raze the structure.

Attorney Robert Soltis, representing Hemminga, noted that steps toward addressing the various safety issues are occurring and that the Tasty Nut Shop falling under the umbrella of Union Hall Block Building Inc. will benefit progress significantly.

Samuel Gilbertson, an attorney from the firm representing Union Hall Block Building Inc., reiterated positive strides have been made since March 23, when the matter was last before Middleton.

Middleton also ordered that liability insurance covering the building will need to be secured before the Aug. 31 hearing.

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