Published in Breaking News

Northern Michigan cold-storage facility to be auctioned off

BY MiBiz Staff Friday, March 16, 2018 01:49pm

GRAWN — A Northern Michigan fruit cold-storage facility is up for auction as part of owner Cherry Growers Inc.’s liquidation of assets.

Hilco Real Estate LLC will auction off the 31,000-square-foot facility in mid April. The facility is situated on 34 acres of land located about 10 miles south of Traverse City.

Cherry Growers’ cold-storage building comes equipped with office space, restrooms, loading docks, freezer space and a DEQ permit that allows for the discharge of 500,000 gallons of wastewater per year.

The grower-owned fruit cooperative filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan in September.

“The sale of this facility represents an excellent opportunity for an end user or investor to acquire a turnkey, highly-desirable cold storage facility that can distribute across the region,” Jeff Azuse, senior vice president of Hilco Real Estate, said in a statement. “Traverse City’s complementary business setting and strong tourism industry create a welcoming environment for any business to set up shop.”

MiBiz reported in September that Cherry Growers filed for bankruptcy after a series of setbacks to its operations and annual harvest. At the time, Eric MacLeod, president and general manager of Cherry Growers, said a 2012 harvest “annihilated both the tart cherries and processing apple volume that we were exclusively engaged in,” putting the company in tough spot financially.

According to a January report from the Traverse City Record-Eagle, the company said it would liquidate its assets to help pay creditors, resulting in the loss of 80 jobs.

“We were not able to sustain a level of operations that would meet certain criteria of performance,” MacLeod said in the report. “We thought it was really the only responsible thing to do.”

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