Historic Beckley business to be replaced with McDonalds - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Historic Beckley business to be replaced with McDonalds

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BECKLEY -

One of uptown Beckley's historic businesses is set to be torn down and replaced by a fast food chain.  For the past 12 years the site of the old Beckley Feed and Hardware has been nothing but a vacant building.

In the coming months, the building will be demolished and a McDonald's restaurant will take its place.

"It'll be closer to Beckley in town, it'll bring more people, it'll be closer for other people to get to I think it's a nice thing they're doing," said Beckley resident Euegene Miller.

Although the site made it on the National Register of Historic Places, the owner never used the designation to get grant money for restoring it.

"The State Historic Preservation Office signed off on it saying there was no state or federal money involved and it probably will be a better use as a McDonalds than as a deteriorating building," said Beckley Chief Code Enforcement Officer Bob Cannon.

And others agree that although the building holds history, if it's not being restored, it might as well bring in some business.

"It's just going to run itself down over the years and it'll look bad, so just replace it with something and make it look better," said Miller.

Just across the street from Beckley feed and hardware, off of Robert C. Byrd Drive is a vacant lot waiting to be developed. Plans are set for this spring on construction of a new Sheetz.

And down on Eisenhower Drive at the site of the old Delightfully Yours, plans for a Qdoba Mexican Grill are in place.

Cannon said because Beckley is the crossroads of two major interstate highways, we have become the retail center, the medical center, and the financial center for southern West Virginia.

"That kind of creates a natural environment for people to come if you're going to go to the doctor, if you're coming from far away maybe you'll stop someplace and eat or shop so that's worked very well for us and then of course the interstate highway has been a big boom for us," said Cannon.

Demolition on the Beckley Feed and Hardware Store is set to begin as soon as possible.

They have to first check the site to be sure they don't damage sewer lines in the area.