Dutton Construction crews peeled the facade off the old Master Antiques building at 241 Broad St. on Thursday under the watchful eye of building owner Wayne Robinson.
The real estate developer and restaurateur said he’s been wanting to take the stucco-like facade off that building for years, long before he bought it.
“We’ve found a lot of great brick detail that has been covered up for probably 40 or 50 years,” Robinson said while watching the demolition take place. “Windows will be opened back up and all of the detail in the brick will be visible.”
“It was just so amazing,” said Downtown Development Director Amanda Carter. “It looks like so much of the original facade is intact.”
Interior renovations have been underway for a couple of months as Robinson converts the second floor of the building into four loft apartments. The apartments will have two bedrooms and two and a half baths, with a large living room and fireplace.
Each unit will have approximately 1,200 square feet of living space. Stairways from the front and rear of the building will lead residents to their apartments.
Robinson said four large windows will be on the Broad Street facade — two windows in the main living area of each of the apartments facing Broad. He plans to replicate that look on the back side of the building as well.
“There is still a good demand down here for good apartments,” Robinson said. “A lot of people are wanting to locate downtown and there’s just not much available.”
At least one prospect has contacted Robinson about a restaurant on the ground floor but nothing has been finalized at this point.
Once the facade work at Robinson’s property is completed, Carter said there will be just one building left on Broad Street with boarded up windows on the second floor. The building at 307-311 Broad St., next to the Rome Area History Center, has been on the market for well over a year.
Robinson said he was preparing to buy that building when the Masters Antiques building became available. He also owns two other buildings at that end of the 200 block — the Crawdaddy’s restaurant building at 239 and The Vogue at 247.