Local News

Downtown Henderson Renovation 'A Work of Love'

Posted October 26, 2007 7:03 p.m. EDT
Updated October 26, 2007 11:02 p.m. EDT

— A group of property owners in Henderson plans to renovate eight, multi-story buildings downtown and turn them into apartments. Some of the buildings date back to the 1800s.

The downtown development commission recently received a $1 million Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, grant to renovate the buildings. The project will include affordable housing, something Henderson needs.

“It’s a work of love, you know,” said property owner Patti Lenehan. “You start peeling off one layer at a time.”

“You’re going to bring business by having people in your downtown,” said Main Street Manager Phil Lakernick.

The old telephone office, a candy store, a dentist's office and a coffee shop, which are all part of history, are about to see activity again.

“It’s more difficult than new construction or normal renovation, because it has to be restored basically to the way the original building was,” Lakernick said.

Downtown Henderson was an area that used to thrive, but a loss of a lot of the city’s manufacturing jobs made it difficult to continue that economic pace. The development commission has been working to promote more downtown activity.

“Downtown Henderson has a lot to offer. It’s just not there yet,” said Abagayle Allegretto, owner of Abagayle’s Books.

The total project will cost about $2 million. The HUD grant will pay $1 million of that, while business owners will pick up the rest.