The new owner of the Limestone Mall building is hoping to have at least two storefronts completed by October.
During a meeting of the Maysville Rotary Club Tuesday, William Lawrence, owner of Lawrence Development and Rental Properties LLC, who has been working to revitalize the building, said he plans to use the building for retail establishments.
The Limestone Mall once housed Merz Brothers and later Kline’s Department Store
Lawrence most recently renovated the May’s Lick Apartments into 13 units, but wanted to move away from residential and establish a footing in commercial property.
“We want a place where people can start their own businesses,” he said. “I’ve always wanted a building downtown, so when this one came available, I knew I had to jump at it.”
Lawrence said there is a lot of work that needs to be done to the building before it can be opened.
“The building is in terrible disrepair,” he said. “One thing we need to do is put a roof on it. When we went to look at the building, I thought, ‘this isn’t bad.’ It didn’t rain once while we were looking at it. We finally closed on it and that very evening, it rained so hard. It was coming down everywhere and there was water in the basement. I thought, ‘what have I done?’ But the Lord has a funny way of making things work out for you.”
According to Lawrence, he has no regrets about purchasing the building.
“I’ve always wanted a building downtown and I have a lot of plans for it,” he said.
When the building is finished, it will have drop down lights and exposed brick.
“I want a modern kind of look and I want it to stick out-in a good way,” he said.
Lawrence said he has to meet with the architectural review board about some of the options for the building, but he wants to keep it as original as possible.
“Back when urban renewal was big, buildings were covered up,” he said. “When we started pulling off the front of that building, I kept praying that something other than just brick was underneath. It was like unveiling a ghost.”
According to Lawrence, the original crown molding on the building had been removed previously.
Mayor David Cartmell offered molding for the building — so long as it fits with the historical style. He showed off a corner piece during the meeting.
“I went to a sale and this was the last thing they had,” he said. “I’ve had it sitting for awhile and I’m just glad someone can use it.”
Lawrence wants to see two store fronts open by October. He plans to install a dividing wall in order to continue working on the rest of the building that will open later.