James Flanigan has sweet plans for Elizabeth City’s historic Weatherly Candy Factory Building. At a Committee of 100 meeting in January, he outlined to local business leaders how he and his partners at J.D. Lewis Construction Management of Richmond will convert the waterfront building and two adjacent buildings into 40-plus upscale modern loft apartments.
“We enjoy urban projects, and we’ve been looking at the building for some time,” said Flanigan. “I saw the potential for an adaptive reuse project, and we will plan to use some of the historic elements of the building.”
The building renovation will play up the exposed brick walls, metal columns and original glass, in addition to featuring new energy efficient windows, wooden floors, granite countertops, tiled bathrooms and stainless steel appliances. Most of the units will be one-bedroom apartments, with a few two-story loft spaces to accommodate live/work areas. Rent will be between $1,100 and $1,200 a month.
The building, located at the corner of Elizabeth and Water streets, dates to 1923. Over the years, it has been used by a number of businesses but is remembered fondly as the site of the Weatherly Candy Factory, an Elizabeth City landmark.
“This is the most significant renovation in our downtown since the Arts of the Albemarle Center,” said Wayne Harris, director of the Elizabeth City Pasquotank County Economic Development Commission. “The Weatherly Building is the first sight visitors from the Outer Banks see when they cross the bridge from Camden. In its current vacant state, it gives a very negative and erroneous first impression or our downtown.”
Flanigan’s company is presently seeking financing for the project, which will be supplemented with Historic Tax Credits. He says work on the project will begin this spring.