LAURINBURG – Businesses along Railroad Street may be affected by the city’s decision to close off a portion of the street for renovations at the former Market Furniture/McDougald building.
The city of Laurinburg issued a statement concerning the closing that began on Monday.
“To secure the safety of citizens we have decided to close the section of Railroad Street right in front of the Market Furniture/McDougald Building during the demolition process,” the statement read. “The contractor contacted us this morning with some concerns, and we thought it would be best to take all precautions.”
The city has not said how long the street will be closed but said it will issue updates as needed.
The former State Bank Building and the Market Furniture buildings are being renovated by Integrated Development Group of Greensboro.
The group plans to turn the Market Furniture/ McDouglad Building into high-end apartments with a pub style restaurant downstairs, and to house office space in the State Bank Building once renovations are complete.
Mark Murphy, owner of Quality Parts and Equipment, said he has not been told how long the street will be closed, but the project manager for the demolition has given him a time frame.
“The project manager said it’s scheduled for six weeks, but he doesn’t think it will take that long,” Murphy said.
Murphy said he has seen a slight drop in business, but is unclear whether it is due to the economy or because patrons see that the street is closed and turn around.
Even so, Murphy is excited to have more businesses coming to Laurinburg particularly downtown.
“I hope they succeed; it can’t help but help Laurinburg because we need something for the economy and something that will bring people downtown,” said Murphy joking that with a pub on the corner, he won’t have far to walk for a beer.
Charles West, owner of Singer World a used appliance and repair store said he has not seen much of a change in his business.
“Traffic might have slowed down, but we’re still getting repair calls, so business hasn’t really slowed down,” West said.
The Market Furniture Building is on the corner of Main Street and Railroad Street and the State Bank is at the corner of Main and Cronly streets.
Work on the projects was expected to begin by the end of last year, and the company had hoped to have the overhauls completed in 18 months, but work was delayed until recently.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169