Hand Trading Company building under major repair - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Hand Trading Company building under major repair

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

PELHAM, GA (WALB) - Major repairs to a historic building in downtown Pelham may be the key to economic development there.

The 100,000 square feet Hand Trading Company building was built in 1916 by the founder of the town.

It was a large department store for several years, but has been vacant since the 80's.

Now the local development authority is leading the $2 million renovation, bringing the building up to fire code, replacing staircases, and making it office space friendly.

But the mayor says it's hard to compete with larger cities for jobs.

"The ability to get jobs here may depend on this building being ready for them. So that's really our hope is to get this building ready for people to move in to to create more jobs for the community. Because we just don't see manufacturing jobs coming down the pipeline right now," says Steven Turner, the Mayor of Pelham.

It would cost 6 to 8 million to return the building to it's original condition.

Right now a restaurant is already renting out a section of the building, and a doctor's office takes up another corner.

The mayor hopes soon tenants will begin moving in so they can get more money to continue the renovations they want to do.

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