Woolworth building downtown closer to demolition

dworthington@heraldonline.comJanuary 8, 2014 

— The F.W. Woolworth building, a fixture on Rock Hill’s Main Street since 1916, moved one step closer to demolition on Tuesday. The Rock Hill Economic Development Corp., which owns the building, hired engineering firm Kimley-Horn and Associates to plan and oversee demolishing the building.

Approval of the contract, which could cost up to $34,000, comes as economic development recruiters continue to court possible developers for the site.

Last summer, Nova Capital scrapped plans to tear down the building and construct 64 market-rate apartments because construction and financing estimates were too costly.

It was just one of a number of projects that have been proposed for the site over the years.

The Economic Development Corp. has owned the building for 24 years; it has been vacant for about 20. Kimley-Horn will develop a three-part plan for the building.

The first phase will be a deconstruction plan that will not affect adjacent structures and will fill the basement of the Woolworth building. It also includes construction of a sidewalk from Main Street to the parking lot behind the building and a temporary facade along Main Street.

During the second phase, the firm will provide technical expertise during the bid process and answer questions from possible bidders, said Stephen Turner, the city’s director of economic development.

In the third phase, Kimley-Horn will make a design engineer available during the demolition to make sure the contractor is following the approved plans.

The Economic Development Corp. has budgeted $200,000 for demolition of the building.

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