• 61°

Former Lowder Hardware annex demolished as part of plan to develop apartments

Anyone walking along North First Street in downtown Albemarle recently may have noticed that something was awry.

The former Lowder Hardware one-story annex, located between the old Tiffany’s at the Boardroom location and Hair Center Barber Shop in downtown Albemarle, was recently demolished to make way for what will eventually become an apartment complex.

The building was dilapidated and the roof and floor had already caved in, said Kevin Robinson, director of the city’s planning and development services.

“It wasn’t a matter of if it needed to go, but when,” he noted about the building.

Though the city doesn’t have final plans for what will happen, Robinson said TEK Development is interested in developing the old Tiffany’s at the Boardroom location and the annex building as apartments. The company had already gotten demolition of the annex approved by the Historic Resources Commission.

According to information in a Albemarle Downtown Area Revitalization grant program application, TEK Development plans to renovate the old Tiffany’s at the Boardroom and the Lowder Hardware locations to make way for one- and two-bedroom apartments. A two-story addition will be built on the Lowder property, Robinson said.

Robinson said the company hasn’t shared plans with the city, but that should likely happen in the coming weeks. The company is working on different ideas with the architect and is also trying to talk with the State Preservation Office.

A message left for TEK Development for more details about the project was not returned by publication of this article.

The rear portion of the Lowder Hardware Annex was first built in 1908 as a warehouse, according to information from the National Register of Historic Places. The front part of the building was built in 1913 and operated as a seed store.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

email author More by Chris