Work has started to give new life to a building in downtown Meridian that has been vacant almost twenty years. Once the home for Citizens National Bank and the American Legion among other things, private developer Graham Behringer from Meridian is converting the two story structure into two 2,300 square foot luxury condos on the upper floor, with plans to develop the bottom floor into residential or retail space. Currently, work at the building has come to a standstill.
"We're waiting on a couple of approvals from the state," says project manager, Clint Earnhart. "Once we get those certificates in hand we look to complete it in six to eight months."
In the past the second floor of the building was used as a music hall. Some of the greats, even Elvis Presley once played there; that's where the condos will now be located. Although a lot of changes are taking place inside the structure, because it is historic the outside facade will virtually remain the same.
"The outside can't change, that's kind of the luxury of remodeling a historic building," says Earnhart.
At this time a name has not been chosen for the development on Fourth Street. The estimated cost for it is roughly $1,000,000.
Meanwhile, the Community Development Director for the City of Meridian says residential development for downtown is a top priority.
"With the idea that the more people that we have living in the core downtown, the greater the demand for food, beverage, entertainment, for specialty retail, and for sports services," says John McClure.
He's also expressing high hopes for another residential development in downtown. Once open Cumberland Terrace will be located inside the old Bellsouth Building. McClure says selective demolition has been taking place inside it. He's hopeful that within the next year residents will have moved into those apartments.