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Work taking shape at former post office location

By Erin Smith

The site of the former Elizabethtown Post Office has become a hub of activity once more. The building is being transformed into a small business incubator to help local entrepreneurs get started.

The small business incubator, which was undertaken by Bladen’s Bloomin’ Agri-Industrial, was designed to house a small business temporarily until it grows large enough to move to another larger location in town.  Workers are expected to begin framing the individual office spaces this week, said Bladen County Economic Development Director Chuck Heustess.

“We’ve been running into a lot of unknowns. For example, we’ve had to rework the plumbing and we had some structural issues that had to be reinforced,” said Heustess.

The remodeling of the former post office building has been ongoing for two years. Heustess said the project was held up by asbestos removal work that had to be performed and Hurricane Matthew saw a stoppage of work for a period of time. Heustess said the company doing the asbestos removal of the post office was assisting business owners who received damage from Hurricane Matthew to repair their buildings.

The project’s architect, Chris Adams, also closed his firm delaying the project further while a new architect was hired to complete the project, said Heustess.  He said because the project is funded through a grant, the grating agency had to give permission for a new architect to be hired.  

Heustess said the rear entrance to the building also had to be completely remodeled to meet today’s American’s with Disabilities Act standards.

“We hope to be finished (with the project) in four months,” said Heustess.


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