NOVI (WWJ) – Demolition began Monday morning on the 40-year-old Novi Expo Center.
The 300,000 square-foot building, which most recently hosted the center, was built in 1966.
The facility was home to Adell Industries, where original owner Frank Adell invented automotive door guards — a product that is still used by The Big Three.
It has been completely vacant for the past seven years.
Talking to WWJ Newsradio 950’s Pat Sweeting, property spokesman Mort Misner noted that along with its past in automotive supply and as home to the makers of Kahlua, the building also has ties to Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa.
“He was good friends with Frank Adell — Kevin Adell’s father, who built the building. And whenever he had to pee he would stop here on the way to Lansing, which was usually multiple times a week,” Misner said.
Ara Topouzian, Director of Economic Development in Novi, hopes the property won’t be vacant for long.
“Well, certainly, the former expo center is located in a very strategic spot in the city. It’s got freeway frontage, which makes that an ideal location,” Topouzian said. “I think by taking the building down allows for, you know, a better redevelopment … of the property.
An announcement about future plans for the property is expected later this year.