Part of Williamston’s Main Street closed due to old building, town leaders look to demolish it

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WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – A portion of Williamston’s Main Street has been closed due to a deteriorating building.

Right now, contractors are getting construction quotes to tear the building down. A nearby motorcycle store is feeling the impact of the closure (see below). The business shares a wall with that building. Town leaders said they’re doing what they can to work with affected businesses.

“Obviously we want to keep them there. We want to keep as many of our downtown businesses as we can. We are going to be including them in all of our discussions moving forward to figure out what’s the best possible outcome,” said Zach Dickerson, Planning and Downtown Marketing Coordinator.

Town commissioners will meet Tuesday night to discuss the next steps.

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“They want to send somebody here with an excavator and knock the building down without any thought or effort being put in to try to save mine,” said Shane Scalpi.

In downtown Williamston, the old Tarheel Apartment Building is falling apart, and it could take other businesses with it.

“We feel pretty let down that you’re taking one of the first buildings fully renovated on the downtown Main Street, and you want to just bulldoze it down 8 months after it’s completed,” said Scalpi. “It makes no sense.”

Scalpi owns SS Custom Cycle, an internet motorcycle parts company. He and his wife moved their business from New York in November 2020 to a site right beside the old Tarheel Apartment Building. He said he invested $150,000 in renovations. He added he was never made aware of any problems.

“We did a building inspection on this prior,” Scalpi said. “We hired the town’s building inspector. There was not a word mentioned about the condition of the building next door or the fact that the wall behind me is actually a joining wall.

“It’s the exterior wall of that building, and we were unaware of this until much later after we were already in here.”

Town planning coordinator Zach Dickerson said the group that once owned the building no longer exists and the town doesn’t want it. He is looking at quotes from contractors to demolish the condemned building. Due to both buildings sharing a wall, Dickerson said the motorcycle shop may need to come down too.

“To make a 20-year-old business now have to worry about how am I going to survive this and get through whatever it’s going to take, months of relocation. How do I keep my business up and running and what do I do?” said Scalpi.

Many residents in the town said they would like to see the condemned building removed.

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