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Lou's Antiques moving to new location as Danville explores options for building
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Lou's Antiques moving to new location as Danville explores options for building

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Lou's Antiques Mall owner Robert Ogden said he is happy to be moving his store from downtown to Sherwood Shopping Center. 

He will have a better-lighted building and more parking at the new spot on Arnett Boulevard. And the bottom floor of his current storefront on Main Street has flooded four times in the past two years. 

"We've been moving for two weeks," Ogden said during an interview at the Main Street location Monday morning. "I've got to be out of here by the end of December."

The Sherwood Center location opened Saturday and will have a grand opening Dec. 18, Ogden said. It has about 10,000 square feet of space. 

Built in 1960 and once the home of Schewels Furniture, the building at 231 Main St. has housed Lou's Antiques since Ogden opened the store 14 years ago. He said he has more than 4 million items at his store. 

Although the Main Street location has three floors and twice the room, Ogden was unable to use the bottom floor because of flooding that occurred during Tropical Storm Michael in October 2018 and three more floods since, he said. 

The city asked Ogden to move his business last month so officials can seek public input and decide what to do with that property, which includes the 22,152-square-foot building and a parking lot. 

Neal Morris, chair of the Danville Industrial Development Authority, which owns the property, said he would like to see the building demolished. 

"The building is in very bad repair, and that's one reason Lou's is moving," Morris said Monday. 

He said he considers the building, located at the intersection of Main Street, Craghead Street and Memorial Drive, to be an eyesore. 

"It's a focal point as soon as you pull up to the intersection," Morris said. "It looks bad." 

Danville Economic Development Director Corrie Teague Bobe said in a news release that no decisions had been made about the future of the building. Its age, size and maintenance costs will be part of the consideration when determining its next use, officials have said.

The building will be torn down, eventually, Morris said. "I feel sure the building will come down," he said. 

The IDA could offer it for sale to someone who would develop the property.

The IDA bought the building and adjacent parking lot in 2011 for $458,000 to provide stable property ownership, according to a news release from the city. The IDA continued the lease arrangement with Lou’s Antiques Mall.

The Danville Office of Economic Development invites citizens to participate in a survey about the future use of the Main Street Plaza property being vacated by Lou’s Antiques Mall.

The survey can be found here.

“We look forward to hearing from the community about how they would like to see this property redeveloped,” Bobe said. “This site serves as the gateway into our River District and determining its highest and best use is of utmost importance to our office.”

Plans are underway for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new location, she said.

“We were happy to assist Robert Ogden and his family in finding their new location,” Bobe said in the news release. “They have been successful in the River District, and we know they will have continued success at their new location.”

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