eMailMax 2/6/16 : Page 1

ECRWSS SEE OUR AD ON PAGES 6 & 7 February 6, 2016 Local Postal Customer Paper. News Good Your www.MailMaxOnline.com POSTMASTER: Please deliver on February 6, 2016 Volume 17, Ver. 06 Moody on The Market 0 RRG\  3DW  A dynamic St. Joseph company with a strong track record in the community is breathing new life into a sub-stantial manufacturing facility in Bridgman that had fallen dormant and into disrepair in recent years. The Southshore Companies , which already control approximately 1.5-million square feet of commer-cial warehouse and office space throughout the Midwest , have purchased the sprawling manufac-turing facility at 9864 Church Street in Bridgman and are converting it into space for a support facility for an affiliate company in St. Joseph, United Container Corporation . The plan came together through the hard work and dedication of Berrien County’s Economic Development office headed up by Dan Fette . Jordan Kirshenbaum unveiled to the Bridgman City Council his new United Container facility plans for the building which was the long-time home to PEMCO Diecasting and in more recent years ICG Castings , and Modar . The build-ing had fallen into both serious disrepair and fore-closure for non-payment of taxes dating back to 2009 according to Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski . Witkowski says, however, that the Southshore Companies not only paid back all delin-quent property taxes from 2009 to 2014, they also paid the tax bill for 2015 in purchasing the building, avoiding what could have been a disastrous charge-back or re-capture of funds already paid to the City of Bridgman, the school district and library, the county itself and the state. In the case of the empty Church Street building in Bridgman, had the proper-ty not been sold to Southshore, the City of Bridgman would have been hit with more than $100,000 in charge-backs or re-captured tax dollars. Not only has Southshore paid the back taxes, bringing the tax bill fully current, they have already invested more than $200,000 in rehabilitation improvements to the facility, and expanding their growing empire into the city of Bridgman. Kirshenbaum says the property is a sizable complex on nine acres near downtown Bridgman featuring multiple buildings including the main structure of 127,000 square feet, a couple of ancillary buildings of 10,000 and 5,000 square feet respectively, and still other smaller structures. The new venture will be a finished goods distribution warehouse for Southshore affiliate United Container which has its main facility at 233 Hawthorne in the St. Joseph industrial park neighborhood. Southshore found the building in serious need of repairs inas-much as the entire electrical system had been van-dalized while the property sat vacant and there was no power, water or sewer service connected to the property, all of which had to be restored in order to even begin the rehabilitation process. Kirshenbaum has voiced extreme gratitude for the cooperation of the city and the county in getting the building back online. Southshore worked closely with Witkowski as well as Bridgman City Manager Juan Ganum , and Berrien County’s Economic Development Director Dan Fette to craft the deal. Work began on the building last summer and as that work got under-way, it was discovered that with no electricity to drive sump pump systems, the very large basement of the building was seriously flooded with ground-Doesn’t look like a Valentine ... ... but it is . Truly romantic people give carpet . Soft to the touch grey twist. The color of the year in thick 50 ounce nylon at a heartwarming $2.75f 2 . In-stock rolls and roll balances to match your color of romance, all at 20 to 40% off retail. Just choose the room to be a Valentine for your big day. for romantic carpet . Tile • Stone • Carpet • Remnants • Area Rugs • Hardwood • Glass Tiles • Laminate Flooring M,T,W,F 9-5, Thursday 9-7, Saturday 10-3 Only one place 269.925.2900 www.FloorArtWorld.com 2467 S. M139 Benton Harbor 1/4 Mile N. of I94 Exit 28 Located in the former Tile Mart Building Be proud of your floor. Inserts & Promotions MailMax is a publication of Far Ahead Advertising, Inc. 2202 Plaza Drive Benton Harbor, MI 49022 Phone: 269.934.7522 FAX: 269.934.3297 email: publisher@farahead.com www.MailMaxOnline.com •www.facebook.com/eMailMax • Martins Super Markets • Hardings Friendly Market • Salute to Women in Business • Pater True Value • Paw Mart • Save-A-Lot Inserts may vary by Zip Code &RQWLQXHGRQSDJH&#1b;

Moody On The Market

Pat Moody

A dynamic St. Joseph company with a strong track record in the community is breathing new life into a substantial manufacturing facility in Bridgman that had fallen dormant and into disrepair in recent years. The Southshore Companies, which already control approximately 1.5-million square feet of commercial warehouse and office space throughout the Midwest, have purchased the sprawling manufacturing facility at 9864 Church Street in Bridgman and are converting it into space for a support facility for an affiliate company in St. Joseph, United Container Corporation. The plan came together through the hard work and dedication of Berrien County’s Economic Development office headed up by Dan Fette. Jordan Kirshenbaum unveiled to the Bridgman City Council his new United Container facility plans for the building which was the longtime home to PEMCO Diecasting and in more recent years ICG Castings, and Modar. The building had fallen into both serious disrepair and foreclosure for non-payment of taxes dating back to 2009 according to Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski. Witkowski says, however, that the Southshore Companies not only paid back all delinquent property taxes from 2009 to 2014, they also paid the tax bill for 2015 in purchasing the building, avoiding what could have been a disastrous chargeback or re-capture of funds already paid to the City of Bridgman, the school district and library, the county itself and the state. In the case of the empty Church Street building in Bridgman, had the property not been sold to Southshore, the City of Bridgman would have been hit with more than $100,000 in charge-backs or re-captured tax dollars. Not only has Southshore paid the back taxes, bringing the tax bill fully current, they have already invested more than $200,000 in rehabilitation improvements to the facility, and expanding their growing empire into the city of Bridgman. Kirshenbaum says the property is a sizable complex on nine acres near downtown Bridgman featuring multiple buildings including the main structure of 127,000 square feet, a couple of ancillary buildings of 10,000 and 5,000 square feet respectively, and still other smaller structures. The new venture will be a finished goods distribution warehouse for Southshore affiliate United Container which has its main facility at 233 Hawthorne in the St. Joseph industrial park neighborhood. Southshore found the building in serious need of repairs inasmuch as the entire electrical system had been vandalized while the property sat vacant and there was no power, water or sewer service connected to the property, all of which had to be restored in order to even begin the rehabilitation process. Kirshenbaum has voiced extreme gratitude for the cooperation of the city and the county in getting the building back online. Southshore worked closely with Witkowski as well as Bridgman City Manager Juan Ganum, and Berrien County’s Economic Development Director Dan Fette to craft the deal. Work began on the building last summer and as that work got underway, it was discovered that with no electricity to drive sump pump systems, the very large basement of the building was seriously flooded with ground water that needed to be eliminated through a pump out system. It was a tremendous hazard, especially in light of a large section of wood floor in part of the building that was rotting through and could have been disastrous had somebody fallen through and into the five feet of water under that section. Kirshenbaum says that the building had not been properly secured and with several doors ajar, the community was lucky that nobody stumbled in and was hurt by the adverse conditions. As progress was made in securing the perimeter of the property, Southshore worked with the Bridgman Fire Chief for a safety walkthrough to determine protocol for stabilization of the property and the ensuing repairs and upgrades. As work continued into the fall, the focus was on getting proper heat into the building, and a full fire suppression system including fire suppression monitoring by the fire department. Southshore is a privately held and managed group of companies established in 1978, providing warehousing services, fulfillment services, quality control services, transportation services, and commercial real estate leasing and development to its customers. The Southshore Companies control approximately 1. 5-million square feet of commercial warehouse and office space and have operations not only here in Michigan, but also in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Iowa. United Container is their affiliated company that sells corrugated boxes and packaging supplies. Kirshenbaum declined to project the number of employees that will work at the new Bridgman facility as they are still formulating the systems and processes that will be used going forward and manpower needs will be assessed as they advance their master planning.

When the dust finally settled shortly after 8pm on January 21st, and mouse clicks were silenced on the Ideal Place Restaurant auction process, years of blood, sweat, laughter, tears and some amazing cuisine faded into the history books of the Benton Harbor Arts District. The pioneering restaurant which closed for business in a bittersweet move last fall has been divided up between a bevy of bidders who spent 12-hours that Thursday scanning for bargains and clicking to bid. In the final analysis, if my math skills (and the final bids posted online) are correct, the auction of Ideal Place assets garnered $31,477.41 for the hundreds of items on the block. The most “captivating” item on the list proved to be a sizable CaptiveAire restaurant ventilation hood. A total of 67 bids bounced back and forth for that item which also comprises more than 10-percent of the eventual total, selling for $3,450 to a bidder named “PickleGirl.”

The second most valuable item in the eyes of the bidding public proved to be the iconic 21-foot long maple wood bar that greeted diners upon their entry to the modernistic eatery. The 44-inch high bar with a brushed stainless steel face also included the full chrome kicker at its base. After a flurry of 36 bids, the final winning bid of $1,800 was posted by the bidder named “Tom Harrington.” That bar hosted a cornucopia of craft brews over the years, and a myriad of colorful tap handles appeared on the auction block from when those beers were flowing from the Ideal Place taps. There was considerable interest in the 12 lots filled with tap handles with nearly $550 in sales on those items alone. Lots ranged from $11.50 to $110.00 in that segment of the auction and one clear collector successfully bought fully a third of those lots alone. Many items on the bid list garnered only a handful of bids, typically in the single digits, with prices all over the board from as little as $5 to $1,225 depending on what was included in each lot. Everything from the industrial grade kitchen appliances to table linens ended up on the auction block at Biddergy.com. A nearly floor-to-ceiling curio cabinet in a corner of the dining room drew considerable interest with 60 bids, yet still sold for just $630 in the end. The Ideal Place was an Arts District haven for eager diners Who enjoyed the culinary magic of Chef Barb Clark, her son and others over the years, but in the end Barb’s health and the desire of she and co-owner Chris Kasperzak to pursue more family-oriented things triggered the decision to close up shop. It was a decision made easier by some mechanical issues that were occasionally plaguing the kitchen operations, forcing brief shut downs to deal with them. Chris tells me, “I can honestly say if you’re in a position to liquidate, Biddergy.com is great to work with. I knew this would be hard and they helped make it easy.” She says to friends and fans everywhere, “Sad to say goodbye, but I know we’ll see you later.”

Fans of The Toy Company in downtown St. Joseph who were worried about its future when the colorful landmark went up for sale last fall got a late Christmas gift recently in the form of an announcement regarding the new manager. His last name will be instantly recognizable to friends and customers of the iconic retailer, especially considering it’s the same name as the owners. The Toy Company will remain a family affair. When long-time, beloved Toy Company manager Eliza Kimmerly told her bosses, owners Bill & Claudia Vescolani, she planned to retire at the end of the year, they figured it might just be the right time for them to part ways with their nearly 30-year old business as well. The store, as you may recall, was placed on the real estate market for sale. While there were some serious inquiries, the Vescolani’s couldn’t pass up the offer from their own son, Andy, who was willing to take the helm at the popular downtown destination. Claudia tells us, “We didn’t think we could possibly find a manager who was as devoted to the store and its customers as Liza was, but Andy is committed to keeping the store in the family and ensuring it stays a special place for the next generation of children, parents, and grandparents.” The offer from Andy was truly a surprise, inasmuch as Claudia says, “We never had an expectation that our children would take over our businesses, we’ve always wanted them to choose their own paths, but we are thrilled that Andy has decided this is something he’d like to do.” The 31-year old Andy Vescolani grew up among the Toy Company’s playful plush figures and kid-powered projectiles. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Sienna Heights University, and is also a dedicated real estate agent. As the father of a three-yearold, he says he sees toys in a whole new light. Andy says, “As a parent, you want to bring toys into your home that encourage imagination and bring the family together in fun ways, that’s the kind of stuff I want on the shelves of the Toy Company.” Andy says that as the new manager he is cognizant that his customers love the Toy Company exactly the way it is. “If anything,” he says, “there will just be more of what they love.” Looking to the future, Andy says, “I want to have more demonstrations on the floor and a team of toy lovers who are always willing to play a game or make the perfect gift recommendation.” The Toy Company is a nearly 30-year old specialty toy store located at 208 State Street in St. Joseph’s central business district. You can learn more online by going to www.thetoycompanymichigan. com.

In case you hadn’t already heard or notice, a 40-year tradition has run its course as the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in St. Joseph has closed its doors for good. The iconic red-and-white striped canopy roof has been a presence at Hilltop and Cleveland in St. Joseph dating all the way back to 1976, but the end arrived on a Monday morning as workers began removing equipment. Richard Alford is the local KFC Franchise representative. He tells me, “It’s been wonderful serving Kentucky Fried Chicken in the St. Joseph area for many years.” He adds, “Our KFC on Hilltop Road was constructed in 1976, and we’ve remodeled that facility several times over the past few decades. Instead of undergoing another remodel on the current building, we felt it best to focus our future investment efforts on building a new state-of-the-art, KFC restaurant in St. Joseph in the future.” Alford did not immediately identify where the new site might go or what timeline they would operate under going forward. He did remind KFC fans and customers that the KFC on M-139 in Benton Harbor will continue to remain open serving traditional KFC entrees. All St. Joseph KFC employees are being offered positions at neighboring KFC restaurants.

My friend Tom Woerdehoff has asked me to fill you in on an all you can eat Fish Fry at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church at 3903 Lake Street in Bridgman beginning on Friday February 12th and continuing every Friday throughout the Lenten season. The menu includes fish, coleslaw, French fries, mac & cheese, and dessert. Take out service is also available. Cost is just $9 for adults and the offer will run from 5pm until 7pm each Friday during Lent.

Hope to see you out and about this weekend for the Magical Ice Festival in downtown St. Joseph. As you shop for Valentine’s day, late winter birthdays, and other upcoming celebrations, please remember to Shop Local…there’s more here than you know! See you next Saturday right here in MailMax, as well as online 24/7 at www.MoodyontheMarket. com.

Pat Moody
Morning Radio Personality
WSJM Radio
moody@wsjm.com
(269) 925-1111

Read more at www.MailMaxOnline.com

Read the full article at http://www.onlinedigitalmagazines.com/article/Moody+On+The+Market/2388890/289545/article.html.

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