NEW OWNERS PLAN $1.5M MAKEOVER OF HISTORIC DOWNTOWN BUILDING
SUBSCRIBER CONTENT: Jul 1, 2016, 7:06am EDT Updated: Jul 1, 2016, 10:05am EDT
A Chapel Hill real estate group has purchased the historic O’Hanlon Building in downtown Winston-Salem, with plans for a $1.5 million renovation likely to include office and residential space.
It’s a makeover for the eight-story building at 105 W. Fourth St., and a new type of project in the Triad for Kairys Group, which has primarily invested in residential properties around the state.
“We target value-add, ‘A’ location properties, and have a pretty good track record of repositioning them,” said founder and CEO Ted Kairys. “With O’Hanlon, what excited us is clearly this is an iconic building in downtown.”
Designed by famed architect Willard Northup and completed in 1915, the O’Hanlon Building at West Fourth and Liberty streets had a short tenure — until 1917 — as the city’s tallest building, and is the city’s second-oldest skyscraper, according to the building’s National Register of Historic Places application.
The building takes its name from the drug store operated by E.W. O’Hanlon, which anchored the building when it opened and operated there until the early 1960s.
The building has a sibling in the Pepper Building across West Fourth Street, which was also designed by Northup and completed in 1928. Also with a new owner, the Pepper Building is now slated to become a hotel with two new restaurants.
Kairys said he’s looking forward to returning many of the historic interior features to the O’Hanlon Building, which his group purchased for $2.15 million earlier this month.
“Our plans are to remove all of the cladding and things that people through the years thought were interesting design choices, and expose these original beams and terrazzo floors,” Kairys said.
The ground floor includes a restaurant — Mooney’s — and will have a new “blow-out bar” tenant in retail space.
Exactly how the upper floors will be used has yet to be decided, though they are expected to be a mix of office and residential space.
In particular, Kairys said he’s hoping the top floor can be renovated as a penthouse residential unit, with views of Pilot Mountain and a rooftop terrace to be shared with other tenants in the building.
Kairys is working with Heather Fearnbach of Fearnbach History Services in Winston-Salem to pursue a historic landmark designation. Such a designation will add to the building’s prominence, along with opening up the possible use of historic tax credits.
Fearnbach has located original floor plans for the building, Kairys said.
“To have those original plans and those details is a special thing,” he said.
Stitch Design Shop is the architect for the project, and GEMCAP Construction is the general contractor.
The first steps will be to begin interior demolition within three unoccupied floors to remove drop ceilings and sheetrock and then evaluate how best to develop the space.
“We think it appeals to young companies, newer companies that aren’t looking for atriums and artificial plants that are in the lobby of most Class A office space,” he said. “We’re optimistic there’s a market for this gorgeous original character-driven product that people want to work out of.”
He’s encouraged by other recent renovation projects, including the conversion of the former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. headquarters into what’s now The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel and The Catharine Brasserie & Bar, as well as what’s planned across the street at the Pepper Building.
“We just felt like it was a good opportunity to come to Winston and capitalize on what’s going on there,” Kairys said.