Demolitions are transforming downtown Beckley. Some wonder: what comes next?

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The Walton’s Bonding and New Taylor and Associates buildings are set to be demolished. The New Taylor and Associates building was severely damaged after Walton’s roof collapsed almost two months ago in downtown Beckley.

The property owners have said they do not want to rebuild. Consequently, many downtown business owners and frequent downtown visitors are concerned about how an empty lot will affect Main Street.

“We know that they’re not going to rebuild. They own the lots, I would need to check with our code department and see what requirements they have. If they are not rebuilding what timeline do they have to stay,” said Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold.

Some have suggested the lot could be used for more parking spaces. According to Mayor Rappold a parking lot wouldn’t be ideal because of the small area of land.

“I would be less than honest, in my head about what kind of parking area would be available given the demolish of two buildings. It would not be a very large parking lot and I would prefer to see something more uplifting than a parking lot,” said Rappold.

If the owners choose not to rebuild and sell their properties, Mayor Rappold says he personally would like to add attractions like restaurants and shopping centers to attract more people to the downtown area.

“Whatever we do I use the term, it’s time that we make lemonade out of lemons. You know that we had a tough break with the sudden collapse with the Walton building, but it also gives us an opportunity to start new,” said Rappold.

Mayor Rappold says Main Street will continue to be closed off until the buildings are demolished.