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Commission approves exterior modifications to downtown building

A historic downtown building is poised for reuse after renovations to it are completed.

During its meeting Tuesday, the Washington Historic Preservation Commission unanimously voted to issue a certificate of appropriateness to 183 West Main LLC to make several exterior modifications to the building. Kevin Rawls, a principal in 183 West Main LLC, explained the proposed changes and why they are needed.

“On Jan. 2, we made an offer on the old Washington Jewelry building, with a vision to transform this space into high-quality retail and waterfront living at its finest,” Rawls said. The retail space would occupy the first floor, with residential spaces on the upper floors, including three condominiums on he second floor, he noted.

One condominium would have about 1,900 square feet, another would have about 1,400 square feet and the smallest one would have about 600 square feet.

Rawls said he found a tenant for the retail space last week. “Copper Canyon Wellness is going to take the entire downstairs. I’ve secured a long-term lease with Copper Canyon. They’re going to offer chiropractic massage therapy … and acupuncture. They’re very excited. You’ll see some stuff happening on that,” he said. “I want to start and finish in 2018.”

The exterior changes to the building include the following:

  • restore primary façade to its original aesthetic;
  • install new windows to replace the existing decorative plywood;
  • add windows to the second-floor east-side façade;
  • build a deck on the first-floor south façade;
  • add a door to the first-floor south façade;
  • build a balcony on second-floor south façade;
  • convert a window into a door on second-floor south façade.

Commission members questioned Rawls, mostly seeking details about installing windows on the east side of the building, the second-floor balcony and windows that would replace existing decorative plywood covering where windows used to be on the building. Rawls provided those details.

“I think it’s a wonderful project. It’s really nice. It would be a nice addition to the downtown when it’s finished,” commissioner member William Kenner said.

“I think I agree with all of you guys. I think it looks like it’s going to be a very nice restoration that you’ll be able to appreciate the architecture. I applaud them for doing that — particularly saving the windows, all the details and that sort of thing,” commission member Karen Mann said.

Commissioner members said they appreciate the effort to restore the building’s front façade to its original look.

 

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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