Building shift closes two businesses on Front Street

Reported by Scott Saxton email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The city of Wilmington has closed down part of a sidewalk on Front Street, after a property owner reported a building shifted.

The affected property is at 22-24 North Front Street.  A note from the city of Wilmington states that this damage is not believed to be part of the Front Street Improvement Project, which is taking place down the street from this property.

Two businesses are affected in this area, according to John Hinnant with Wilmington Downtown, Inc.  Those businesses are Old Books on Front and Doublewide Skate Shop, which are closed according to Hinnant.

The owners of Old Books sent the following statement to WECT detailing their situation.

Old Books on Front St. is temporarily closed due to structural safety concerns. We are very sorry for the inconvenience. We have just been given notice to vacate the building. At this point we do not know how long the repairs process will take. We plan to reopen in the same location as quickly as possible. We would like to say that our landlord has been very pro-active and concerned with everyone's s safety and we could not be more grateful for all his help and generosity. We would also like to say that we are deeply moved by the immediate outpouring of support and concern we have received in the few short hours since we received this news. Thank you so much to everyone. Our immediate concern is to get the upstairs tenets relocated as quickly and safely as possible. We would also like to say that we are deeply committed to our wonderful Historic Downtown and to the Historic Preservation Movement. Whatever our long term out come it will include a continued presence in Historic Downtown Wilmington. Again, we are very sorry to all of our long time and loyal patrons for the inconvenience, we look forward to seeing you soon. We will post updates as more information becomes available.

Many thanks for the love and support

The Rohler Family

The city says the sidewalk closing is being done in an abundance of caution to make sure no one gets hurt should the building continue to shift.

The sidewalk access on the east side of Front Street will not be allowed for through access in the interim.

An engineer has been on site Wednesday to assess the damage and work on a solution.

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