American Countryside building AKA Farmers Market back up for sale

ELKHART CO., Ind. -- It's one of the most distinctive buildings in Elkhart County.

Now, the old American Countryside building is back on the market, just 13 months after it was sold at auction.

John Leatherman, a partner with FM Stoner Commercial, who is the real estate agent handling the sale said the Himes family who bought the building and the 318 acres surrounding it is in the business of hauling trash. The name of the business is Waste-Away Group.

Leatherman said the Waste-Away Group have decided to put 95 acres, plus the building, back on the market. When they purchased the American Countryside building back in June of 2011 they originally planned to use it for office space.

On Friday Leatherman made it official with posting the for sale sign at the Southern edge of the property that boarders CR 26.

The Waste-Away Group hasn't really used the building much since they've owned it, as for the parking lot, just a small portion of it is lined with large recyclables bins the owners put up for the community to use.

Leatherman said, "the Himes family bought all 318 acres of property so they could be near the landfill that is just down the road here aways.Two-thirds of the west side they are going to develop for recycling and their waste hauling business."

Which will be convenient because it is located right next to the landfill, the reason Leatherman says they bought the property in the first place.

"We just want to get the word out that this is an outstanding property that we think it can be a real asset, something that is really great for the community and a job creator for the folks who live here," said Leatherman. 

The 51,000 sq. foot building and 95 acres is listed for $3.95 million.

Mike Yoder an Elkhart County Commissioner who also holds a seat on the Economic Development Corporation board said, "I still think it works really well for a farmers market for that basic concept, so I've reached out to a couple farmers in this area with the idea of maybe forming a farmers co-op of some sort."

It was not confirmed how much the Waste-Away Group paid for the property and building when they purchased last year.

Community members stopping by to drop off recyclables were shocked to hear the news the building is up for sale again. Betty Boner said, "It would bring a lot of jobs if they can figure out what to do with it." Another resident named Terry said, "It's sad it's not being used as intended."


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