By Easter Monday, the bulldozers had scraped clean the site where Mussallem Motors stood for decades.
Following a fire Nov. 10, demolition crews moved in and tore down the blackened hulk and by this past weekend had hauled most of the old building away.
One passer-by said that people were sitting in lawnchairs watching the process.
Former Maple Ridge mayor Solomon Mussallem founded the business in 1919, when it was named Haney Garage Ltd. on 224th Street, south of Lougheed Highway.
The business made its last move to its location on Lougheed and 223rd Street in 1947.
Bob Mussellem, one of the owners of the building, said last fall that the plan was to do the demo early this year with another goal to complete an environmental remediation process, to allow the sale of all 10 parcels of land at the location.
That land, on a prime spot in the middle of a growing downtown, is still for sale and there’s little, if any soil remediation required to do.
Underground fuel tanks from the old gas station on the corner of 223rd Street and Lougheed Highway were previously removed, but were not leaking so remediation there wasn’t required.
“So there’s nothing to clean up,” Mussallem said.
There’s one other small spot on site that might require soil remediation, but its origins aren’t certain and may not even be from the property, so it’s not certain how that will be handled, he added.