Concerns over brick choice halts renovation on downtown building

(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A Thomasville man is in the process of renovating a building that was a quite an eyesore in the downtown area for many years.

He said his project has come to a halt after a concern with the type of brick he used on the building's facade.

Lucas Stewart said he submitted brick samples to the city about a month ago and reached back out to building officials with the city who verbally approved it.

He says he started putting it up and received a stop work shortly after.

Stewart said he's just trying to add a business to the downtown area and feels like these issues are preventing him from doing so.

Nearly 3 years ago, Old Mexico closed its doors in downtown Thomasville, leaving quite a mess behind. Food in the restaurant, plates everywhere, and a sign on the door.

Several months ago is when Lucas Stewart came in.

Stewart bought the building and planned to give it new life.

There is just one problem. The historic preservation committee denied his plan because of the new brick facade on the building.

"It's costing me money, my project was mothballed in the middle of the day. It's costing me tens of thousands of dollars for my project to be on hold," said Stewart.

Stewart received a stop-work order and came to the HPC meeting Thursday.

"I feel like you're overstepping the bounds of the committee. I don't feel like in reading through the guidelines that the intent was to get involved as much as you are with these decisions," said Stewart.

"If you think were overstepping your bounds then I would think you need to unstep yours if you want to talk about boundaries," said committee chairman.

"I feel like they disapproved the brick because of personal issues," said Stewart.

Stewart feels like his brick matches many others in the area. The brick's name is 'Old Jackson' is a tumbled queen size brick.

"Tumbled means that when they are making the brick, when it dries and hardens its tumbled down a shoot that makes it look like as if its an old brick," said Stewart.

Stewart's end goal is just to bring back another Mexican restaurant option to folks in downtown Thomasville.

"I have probably spent $50,000 in tacos when it used to be Old Mexico, so I had a vested interest in bringing the building back to its original state," said Stewart.

The next step for this project is for it to go before the city council on an appeal.

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