CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A positive light was shed on Charleston’s West Side Friday morning as members of the community gathered around to unveil the new outside of the former Staats Hospital building.
The approximately 60,000 square foot structure that sits on West Washington Street was purchased by Tighe Bullock, president of Crawford Holdings, LLC, last year.
“Everyone was afraid to touch this kind of project, so it was really good to see the community rally together and save this historic building,” Bullock said after a ribbon cutting ceremony. “I’ve had my eye on this building for probably 10 years.”
Much negativity has surfaced on the West Side after four shooting deaths were reported in less than three weeks. Ric Cavender, executive director of Charleston Main Streets, said Friday’s building unveiling was a step in the right direction for re-branding a place residents should be proud to live in. The organization previously provided Bullock with a $15,000 loan.
“In order for us to provide the services we have in place to private investors, they have to be able to step up to the plate and say ‘we want to share your vision’ and the Bullock family has shared our vision time and time again,” said Cavender.
Loans also came from the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority for $230,000 and the First Bank of Charleston for $155,000. A State Historic Office of Preservation provided the family with a $78,000 grant to pay for repairs.
“We’ve done a lot of renovations here on the inside. There were rooms full of files and amazing amounts of trash, so that’s gotten us pretty far along in the project. It wouldn’t be possible without the public partnership,” Bullock said.
Bullock and his father are planning on adding three storefronts to the bottom level with possible residential spaces on the second and third floors. The fourth floor is an open space that Bullock said could be possibly turned into an event center.
He said his goal for the building is to provide jobs and living spaces.
“My vision for this area of the West Side is sort of a pedestrian, friendly, all inclusive work, live, play environment, so I think this is a great step in the right direction,” he said.
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones assisted the Bullock family with cutting the ribbon during Friday’s event.
The building was constructed in 1922 by the Staats brothers.
Appalachian Renovation & Painting have been working on the project since last year.
Potential renters or those looking to start a business are encouraged to contact Tighe Bullock at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-553-6343.