Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

REDEVELOPING CHARLESTON ; Ex-Dollar General on West Side to See New Life

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

REDEVELOPING CHARLESTON ; Ex-Dollar General on West Side to See New Life

Article excerpt

Local developer Tighe Bullock has moved onto his next project in reviving the Elk City district on Charleston's West Side. On Thursday, Bullock closed on 222 Washington St. West, a roughly 6,600- square foot space, for $185,000.

The brick, one-story building housed a Dollar General until August, when the store owners decided not to renew their lease, Bullock said.

Bullock has led several restoration projects in the district's historic buildings over the past few years, including the new location of Kin Ship Goods, Bully Trap Barbershop and the ongoing work at the former Staats Hospital.

Bullock said the space is actually four different buildings, but the current facade was added on by the owners at some point to make it look like one large storefront.

That could be a cause for concern, since Bullock relies on historic tax credits to help finance the buildings he renovates.

"The fact that they did what they did to the storefront jeopardizes the potential for historic tax credits. The most materially contributing feature of a building is the facade, [so] right now, it's questionable," he said.

But the structure still has some historic features, such as the original pressed-tin ceilings that boast different designs, he said.

Bullock first plans to recreate the original four storefronts, as best as he can.

"We're going to have to go off old photos and what we know about that era of construction," he said.

He estimates the buildings were constructed between 1915 and the late 1920s.

The building was previously owned by Gomolco Realty Co., which is owned by members of the Cohen family. That's the same family that owned Cohen Drug Co., in Charleston.

Unlike his other projects in the district, Bullock won't develop apartments above this building because it's only one story.

"We don't have to have the [same] fire code requirements as you do if someone is living above the space," he said. "It's going to be a lot easier, in terms of meeting codes and expenses. …

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