Changes at the Post building: ‘Moving has never once been asked for’

Published 12:10 am Thursday, July 14, 2022

SALISBURY — Changes are afoot at 131 W. Innes St., home to the Salisbury Post and, more recently, The United Way, but the newspaper will be staying put, having reached an agreement with new owners to remain on the first floor.

Meanwhile, new owners are bringing both a new business and a slew of potential business ideas to the three-story building.

Workers took out more than half of a two-story window on the side of the Salisbury Post building that overlooks the large room that houses the printing press Wednesday in preparation for removing the press itself next week.
Photo by Elisabeth Strillacci/Salisbury Post

On Wednesday morning, crews arrived and began removing panes from a massive window that looks out on the courtyard beside the building from the two-story addition that currently houses the press. In a week, that huge piece of machinery will be removed, another bit of history moving out to make way for future plans.

“One of the most common questions we get is if we plan to move,” said John Carr, publisher of the Salisbury Post. “Moving has never once been asked for — in fact, the opposite. It is something we are very glad has never even been considered.”

The disassembly process of the printing press at the Salisbury Post has begun. Photo by Andy Mooney, Salisbury Post.

The United Way offices will also remain on a portion of the second floor of the building, but the third floor will now belong to a company called Compleat KiDZ, a pediatric treatment and rehabilitation facility with branches throughout the area.

Adi Khindaria, purchaser of 131 W. Innes St. and CEO and primary shareholder of Compleat KiDZ, said the company is “the largest multi-disciplinary  facility in North Carolina,” and the approach the organization takes stems from the belief that the earlier the intervention for children with special needs, the better the chances of success.

“We have a different approach to helping kids and families on the autism spectrum or with other special needs and it has been proven to work,” Khindaria said. “We did the research and it was clear that this community is very under-served, so it was a natural fit for us to move this way.”

Ben Stansell/Salisbury Post The mailroom, where inserts were added and printed papers were bundled for carriers.

The company, founded in 1989, already has facilities in Apex, Chapel Hill, Concord, Huntersville, Hickory, Lincolnton, Belmont, and Gastonia, but nothing in Rowan County.

A primary service offered is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) or behavior therapy, which helps children with autism and other learning disorders to grow and thrive. It is the only evidence-based approach to autism treatment and early intervention is essential. They also offer behavioral therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy, along with numerous specialty services.

Khindaria, who hails from India originally, first began cardiac facilities after losing his father to heart issues. When he came to Charlotte, working in the banking industry, he purchased an adult rehabilitation facility, helping patients who were recovering from issues like hip or knee replacement. He began to realize, however, that therapy services for children were few and far between and he began investigating, and eventually he established Compleat KiDZ. To date, the company has helped more than 3,000 children.

Ben Stansell/Salisbury Post The conveyor system that moved bundled papers from the mailroom to the loading dock has been removed.

“We are very big on being a contributing part of the community,” said Bob Fremgen, vice president of marketing. “At the meeting, we are hoping people will let us know how we can best serve them, whether it’s tickets for the local baseball team or making use of local businesses like print shops or T-shirt providers, we just are very invested in being supportive of the community.”

In addition to their offices in the Innes Street building, Khindaria and his team are considering options for the other spaces, including the space soon to be vacated by the press and associated equipment, and the covered area behind the building.

Ben Stansell/Salisbury Post

“There will be ample parking, clearly, and the space lends itself naturally to some kind of restaurant, maybe a brewery, maybe a type of upscale ‘food court,'” he said. “We have reached out to a number of national breweries to determine interest already, and also to local restaurants who might like to consider perhaps a satellite location. But as yet, we have not made a final decision. There are a lot of options. We are just so pleased to be moving in to the area, and everyone we have met has been friendly and welcoming and seems to be excited we are here.”

Fremgen said there has even been discussion of a shared space for artists for studio use.

The company will hold a business luncheon on July 27 at the Country Club of Salisbury for local business owners and representatives of the community to meet Khindaria and his team, get information on what Compleat KiDZ brings to the community, and what possible plans are being considered for the remainder of the building.

“All the interested parties, especially our current buyer, have made this really easy,” said Carr. “The relationship with the buyers has been exceptional.  They are accessible, patient and very flexible.  Perhaps most important, they are really friendly. We really feel blessed at having such good folks, both for the Post and the community, purchasing the building. A big part of the appeal of the building is the history and presence it has had in the community. It is something they want to keep even as the building finds new life through new uses.”