Preservation commission approves design changes for proposed two-story building downtown

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 13, 2019

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY — At 201 E. Innes Street, construction has not yet started, but plans for a multi-story office building are still moving.

A pink granite service station was disassembled and removed in January 2018, with plans for a three-story building with offices and apartments.

Architect Pete Bogle of The Bogle Firm previously came before the City Council to remove a story of building from the design, citing bad soil. At Thursday’s Historic Preservation Commission, Bogle brought some additional changes to his previously approved certificate of appropriateness. Those included removing the balconies of the building, except for a corner balcony, and simplifying the rear entry of the building.

The top floor of the building will be designated for apartment with the bottom floor for office space.

The commission on Thursday unanimously approved the updated design. Members had some question about the building’s progress, but Chair Andrew Walker said his questions were not relevant to the application’s approval or denial.

Bogle answered progress questions by saying the owner, Downtown Properties LLC, was making the changes to lower the cost.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to make this project happen,” Bogle said.

The removal of the balconies and the changes to the rear entrance along with some interior changes have lowered the cost of construction, he said.

Member Steve Cobb asked about the timeline of the project. Bogle said the project has received construction bids and accepted a contract.   

Walker asked if the foundation has been worked out to withstand the weight of the building. In a related questions, Cobb asked if the soil at the site was different than what’s under surrounding buildings.

“The real issue is half of the side is decent soil and the other half is not,” Bogle said.

Member Acey Worthy asked whether soil problems were related to the site previously being a service station.

But Bogle said the problems are a lot deeper than that.

Other business:

• The commission stuck its guidelines that prevent vinyl windows being approved. They saw multiple cases of after-the-fact window replacements.

Jon Post returned to the commission for a second chance at approval of vinyl windows that were previously wooden at a rental property at 627 W. Liberty St.

He told the HPC they should treat him with fairness and that many of the houses in his district, including on his street, have vinyl windows. Post also said the city should better inform property owners they are in a historical district.

He offered to snap in muttons into the vinyl windows to give the window pane appearance.

The commission denied Post’s application.

Shuckin’ Shack owner Larry Roth also came before the commission for approval of after-the-fact window replacement at 118-122 W. Innes St., which will be a site of his next, new business.

Roth said he had to quickly replace the windows in the rear of the building to stop the rain and animals from coming in. The two replacement windows are vinyl.

Roth said he plans to repair or replace the other windows on the building with state historic tax credits but that he would not apply for the credits until his business gets off the ground.

To receive historic tax credits, the windows would have to be wooden, several of the commission members said.

The commission denied Roth’s application, but allowed him to be in compliance with the guidelines within 12 months.

HPC also denied window replacements in an application submitted by Michael Carter’s application. When Carter repaired his dormer, he replaced the wooden windows with vinyl windows. The commission approved his other changes like decreasing the windows in the dormer to three to two, and replacing the siding.

• The commission approved outdoor lighting for Greystone Salon & Spa at 120 N. Main St.

• They also approved an after-the-fact application from Jermey Tatum for his 305 E. Innes St. property. He added a carport, gazebo, grill area and storage building in his back yard. He also changed the rear of the house to add a balcony. The commission agreed the changes were temporary or decorative.