OK given for demolition of old mill, store

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Anderson-Tully mill on Levee Street that closed at the end of 2008 and a building on Washington Street occupied by a furniture store both got approval for demolition from the Vicksburg Board of Architectural Review Tuesday.

Richard Wilkerson, Anderson-Tully executive vice president, told the lay panel that the company intends to continue using the 5-acre property on the Yazoo Diversion Canal at 2200 Levee St. to offload and store logs brought in by barge. The company will auction off mill equipment, demolish the steel-framed building and clean the property in three to four months, he said.

“To us the building is of no value, and to the city it is probably an eyesore,” Wilkerson told the board.

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The Dec. 30 shutdown of Mill D resulted in the layoff of 55 employees, about 15 percent of Anderson-Tully’s work force in Vicksburg. An $8 million facility upgrade at the company’s Mill K off North Washington Street and the lagging economy were cited as causes of the Mill D closure.

The board also approved the demolition of a building at 1711 Washington St., which houses Thomas Furniture Store, on the condition it is purchased by Steven Tzotzolas, who owns next-door F&G Liquors.

The furniture store is moving to a new location in March, said Tzotzolas, and he has a contract to purchase the building.

“We don’t need it unless we can tear it down,” Tzotzolas told the board.

The owner of Thomas Furniture Store, Stephen Haik, said this morning he did not want to comment on where his business is moving. “I don’t want to get in the whole building thing,” he said.

Tzotzolas said he intends to provide more parking for his business. He also was given preliminary permission to rebuild on the property, but a final OK would have to be given if plans are drawn.

The current furniture store building is about 50 years old, built as a discount store, and it also served as a hunting and fishing store.

Both demolitions were unanimously approved. Board members present at the meeting were Toni Lanford-Ferguson, Thurman Nelson, Dorwin Shields, Charlie Gholson, Tom Pharr, Betty Bullard and Sue Seratt, a new member.


Contact Steve Sanoski at ssanoski@vicksburgpost.com.