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Site to begin demolition next week

The owner of an approximately 10-acre lot in the middle ofBrookhaven isn’t quite sure what he wants to build on his newlyacquired land, but he wants to make sure city residents enjoyit.

McComb’s Ron Craddock, owner of Craddock Oil, said he and hisassociates are trying to determine what type of tenants – retailbusinesses or otherwise – city residents would enjoy at the9.4-acre lot at the site of the old Gibson’s shopping center.Craddock recently purchased the site, which lies on the northwestcorner of the Highway 51 and Brookway Boulevard intersection, aftera three-year negotiation.

Though he’s not sure exactly what to build on the site, Craddocksaid he wants to make sure the tenants are the right fit for whathe considers the best piece of commercial property in LincolnCounty.

“We’re taking our time because we want to bring into Brookhavenwhatever the city would like and needs, in terms of retail orwhatever it turns out to be,” he said.

Craddock said crews would begin demolishing the many run-downbuildings at the site next week. AAA Cash and Payment Center andBrookhaven Billiard – the only two businesses renting space in thefacility – have already moved their operations to Schwem andWhitworth avenues, respectively. He said the Blue Sky gas stationand Hudgey’s restaurant would be the only buildings left at thesite.

Craddock declined to disclose the property’s price, but he didsay he was able to purchase the site for half of its originalprice. He admitted that such an investment is risky during thecurrent economy, but the opportunity was too good.

“Someone needed to do it because it’s an eye sore,” Craddocksaid. “We wanted to do that – Brookhaven and Lincoln County havebeen good to us. We want the best thing for a return on ourinvestment, but we also want to do what the citizens want.”

Craddock said he would begin making contacts to desiredbusinesses after the site is cleaned up and ready forconstruction.