Empty for decades, Heironimus building nears completion

Published: Jan. 15, 2020 at 11:38 PM EST
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In Roanoke, one of the last major renovations of a historic building is coming together. The Heironimus building, long empty, is almost finished after a year of tear-downs and reconstruction.

Neighbors, including Larry Davidson, have watched the process closely. As the owner of Davidson's Clothes for Men, he hasn't had much choice: the old department store sits right across the street.

As a result, he's seen the building go from vibrant to vacant and back again.

"I have been literally listening to, and watching them build it jackhammer by jackhammer," he said.

After more than a year of work by the building's owner, the Monument Companies, Heironimus has been transformed. Nearly 80 apartments have been carved out: fresh paint, granite counter tops and shiny sinks replacing rust and neglect.

The builders say it was a gut job; almost nothing of the original interior remains. A few windows in one of the penthouse units are a rare exception. Most other windows have been replaced with modern glass, through which you can see sweeping views of downtown.

As complete as these units look, there's still plenty to be done. On the roof, a wet bar is coming together, along with a large deck.

There are also lots of smaller, cosmetic details to address throughout the building. That includes hoisting this molding - a historic replica - into place along the roof, completing the facade Larry Davidson sees every day.

"And I'm delighted," he said.

Davidson is excited for the work to be done. It's a transformation he says, not just of a building, but a key piece of downtown.

"I know it's gonna be a draw to the cross hairs of downtown Roanoke," he said.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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