City Council approves downtown demolition

SALISBURY — City Council on Tuesday took the unusual step of approving the demolition of a downtown building.

The owners of the former J&M Flower Shop building at 504 N. Main St. asked the city for permission to tear down the century-old building. Because the structure stands in the Downtown Local Historic District, the owners needed approval from City Council.

The city’s Historic Preservation Commission on Nov. 14 issued a certificate of appropriateness for the demolition on a vote of 7-1.

City planning director Janet Gapen said the building has had many exterior and interior changes over the years that have removed historic materials and features, and the ceilings and wood floors have been weakened in several locations due to leaks.

The building also is not eligible for historic restoration tax credits, Gapen said.

Doors, molding and windows have been removed, diminishing the historic integrity of the building, which is located in a portion of downtown that has a mix of old and new buildings as well as vacant lots, she said.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, City Council:

• Made the four-way stop signs at Ellis and Monroe streets and Ellis and Horah streets permanent.

• Heard a review of the West End Transform Plan and set a public hearing for Dec. 17.

• Took no action after a closed session to discuss economic development with Robert Van Geons, executive director for RowanWorks Economic Development.

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