Imlay City Police Lt. Roger Czap said young people had been entering the building in recent weeks and building small fires inside.
"It looked like they set up a little clubhouse in there," said Czap. "There's a lot of drug graffiti in there. It's really disturbing and an unsafe place for kids to be."
Czap said the building is still owned by Mold Master's, noting that the company has expressed interest in filing charges against anyone vandalizing the property.
"It's trouble waiting to happen," said Czap. "Somebody's going to get hurt in there, plus it's private property."
Irelan noted that because the two-story building is in such poor physical condition, it has little or no value as development property.
"The building is completely obsolete," said Irelan. "It would be very expensive for a developer to acquire and rehab."
In addition, zoning and easements at the property are very restrictive, thus making redevelopment even less attractive.
Once an "intent to purchase" is established, Irelan said the DDA and city commission can proceed with plans for demolition.
She believes the cost of demolition will be somewhat offset by the selected contractor's ability to salvage the building's abundant steel.
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.