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By Kj Hiramoto
Sep 20, 2016

HICKORY– The old Regal Manufacturing Building in the Viewmont neighborhood may be history, as a local firm stepped forward to help the City of Hickory demolish the vacant building.

The Hickory City Council voted unanimously to provide a vacant building demolition grant to land buyer Jerry Lee Pruitt, LLC on Tuesday night.

Jerry Lee Pruitt, LLC applied for the grant to help the City of Hickory demolish the building located at 212 12th Ave. NE. The firm plans to spend approximately $157,000 to cover demolition costs, according to an agenda memo from Hickory City Community Development Manager David Leonetti.

The 59,000 square-foot, two-story building has been vacated for more than 20 years, according to the application submitted by Jerry Lee Pruitt, LLC.

City council’s Vacant Building Revitalization and Demolition Grant Program is set to help Jerry Lee Pruitt, LLC cover up to $15,000 of total demolition costs. The purpose of the grant program was to provide funding assistance to applicants planning to demolish vacant buildings to help revitalize the area.

The firm plans to market the property for redevelopment following the demolition. Leonetti said representatives from Jerry Lee Pruitt, LLC do not have set plans on what they will do with the vacant land, but the firm has been advised by real estate professionals that demolition of the building is necessary to help develop the area.

Hickory City Mayor Rudy Wright said he is thankful for someone like Pruitt to step up and help get rid of an unused building.

“This is one of those classic cases where it’s better to have a vacant land with nothing on it, than a land with a building,” Wright said.

Jerry Lee Pruitt, LLC and the City of Hickory did not provide a potential demolition date.

Leonetti said the city advertised a public hearing to local newspapers, including the Hickory Daily Record, earlier this month to see if local citizens would speak for or against the proposed demolition.

No one spoke against the demolition during Tuesday evening’s meeting.


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