The property is now owned by the City of Morenci and will become the north segment of the parking lot rebuilding project.
City council members Monday approved the engineer’s estimate of $43,210 to create the new parking area, widen the alley on the north side of Johnson’s Hardware, and install curbing, gutters and a sidewalk. The sidewalk will be placed along the north side of the hardware store and along the back entrances of the historical society building and the Pizza Box.
The parking area will provide space for 13 vehicles and will serve apartment dwellers, shoppers and employees of area businesses.
Property north of the new parking area up to the State Line Observer office will not be developed.
The Observer will be closed Friday and Saturday during demolition. The former automotive dealership building was constructed in 1939 and likely has joists resting in the brick of the Observer office.
Former owners Minnie Green and Walter Pinkstone signed an easement in June 1939 to allow the new building to be constructed against the Observer’s wall. Furthermore, the easement gave the builders the right to make holes in the Observer wall for the insertion of joists. The easement was given in trade for a payment of $100.
Demolition firms were made aware of the possibility of the joists in the Observer wall during the bidding process. Best Demolition of Saginaw was the winning bidder.
After Shorty Yoder closed his Rambler dealership in the building, several businesses have been located there, including an automotive repair shop, an automotive parts store and a furniture refinishing shop.