By MELINDA WILLIAMS
The first steps are underway to breathe life back into the Dalton building on North Washington Avenue in downtown Pulaski.
John White, economic development director for the town, said a public hearing is planned for Tuesday, June 3, at 7 p.m. regarding conveyance of the building to the town so the town can apply for a revitalization grant to rehabilitate it.
“It’s the first step to bringing the building back,” White said of the public hearing, which will be held during Pulaski Town Council’s monthly legislative meeting, on the upper floor of the municipal building on First Street.
White said the town’s and county’s investment in North Carolina architect David Gall’s redevelopment and renewal plan for Pulaski helped show there is a sincere interest in reviving Pulaski. This helped the town obtain an EPA brownfields grant (see related story) and grant from Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to help fund redevelopment programs.
Long-term plans for the Dalton call for West Main Development to purchase it from the town, but the building has to be in public hands for a Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) grant to be available for revitalization.
“We’re working with potential occupants” for the building once it is restored, White said. He noted it would be “mixed-use” and experts in the hospitality trades are being consulted about the possibility of the two upper floors being converted into hotel use.
“This wouldn’t have happened without (current building owner) Harry Leeper and his desire to have something happen down there and the town be revitalized” White said. Leeper lives in Galax.