Danville man renovating historic buildings along Craghead Street

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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) A whole block of buildings in Danville are now under construction.

Rick Barker opened Supply Resources on Craghead Street in 2015

He has now purchased the 5 buildings on the same side of the street.

WDBJ7 got to take a look inside Wednesday at what Barker hopes will soon become the most desirable business addresses in the Dan River Region.

The five buildings, all with their own unique history make up the 500 block of Craghead Street in Danville's River District.

"A collection of early 20th Century store fronts that we are going to restore to their original glory. Preparing for new 21st Century businesses," Developer Rick Barker said.

However, Barker says he does not consider himself a developer but rather a preservationist.

"This is by anyone's definition a blighted block. I could appreciate that maybe half the people who would drive by here would think it would be a good idea to tear it all down," Barker said.

Barker says there is rarely a building that cannot be saved.

And as he walks through one of them, he points out that whomever is to live and work here will be a part of that history.

"It could be a bar, it could be an entertainment center, but this will be in someone's living room," Barker said about an elevator.

The elevator he is referring to was made in 1904 by Westbrook Elevator Manufacturing Company of Danville and soon to be a wow factor in the apartments built on the second floor.

Retail space will occupy the bottom.

Barker says he is making sure to not loose sight of what these buildings were as be brings them into the future for this Danville community.

"Not just to make this a place of which we are personally proud but to make this a community project of which everyone can be proud," Barker said.

Just a few weeks ago, the city announced a brewery was coming to Craghead Street.

That's located right next to this new construction which is scheduled to have two of the buildings complete by early next year.

Rick Barker/Provided