[caption id="attachment_83577" align="aligncenter" width="600"]<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2021\/10\/DSC_0768.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="400" class="size-full wp-image-83577" \/> \u201cWhat a difference a day makes.\u201d A crew with Faulknier Enterprises, Inc. \u2013\u2002owner Matt Faulknier, Richard Faulknier and Curtis Dunbrack \u2013\u2002leveled the H or Hunter Building and the former Lang\u2019s Dress Shoppe\/ Treasure Chest\/Music Building in downtown Marlinton in two days last week. The debris from the demolition was removed earlier this week. The site is ready for its next life. S. Stewart photo[\/caption]\r\n\r\nSuzanne Stewart\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\r\nDowntown Marlinton \u2013\u00a0specifically on Main Street \u2013\u00a0has seen its fair share of destruction over the years. On January 2, 1968, the Alpine Hotel Building was destroyed by fire. On November 10, 2013, in the next block, three buildings, housing several businesses burned, as well. Those buildings included the Old Bank of Marlinton, the original DirtBean and Hudson\u2019s Variety Store.\r\n\r\nOn October 6 through 8, Main Street saw something a bit different\u2013 the intentional demolition of the buildings across from Alfredo\u2019s. Those included the H or Hunter Building as well as a large space that through the years housed Lang\u2019s Dress Shoppe, The Treasure Chest and later, a music store, with apartments on the upper floors of each.\r\n\r\nThis step toward renewal followed the June demolition of French\u2019s Diner.\r\n\r\nThe Flower Garden, at this time, is the sole business on the block.\r\n\r\nThe properties in transition are owned by business partners Bobby Safrit and Daniel McKee, who formed Revitalize Marlinton LLC, to make way for new businesses in the county seat.\r\n\r\nSafrit also owns the former \u201cPat\u2019s Beauty Shop\u201d building \u2013 which now houses Greenbrier Bikes and Alison Pottery. He and his partner, Nick Ranson, also own the former Laundromat building beside it.\r\n\r\nThe revitalization began in May with the first two aforementioned, now opened businesses.\r\n\r\nSafrit and partner Daniel McKee will continue the process with new construction next spring or summer on the now vacant lots on Main Street.\r\n\r\nSafrit said he was inspired by the new growth of businesses and attractions in Marlinton and said now is the time to breathe new life into the town.\r\n\r\n\u201cWith the Discovery Junction stage, I felt like that is a big stepping point,\u201d he said. \u201cThat sort of got this whole thing rolling. My partner, Daniel McKee, spent most of last year up here with his family because of the pandemic, and I\u2019ve been doing some work for him. We were bouncing some ideas around and we feel like the time is right to try and bring some amenities into the town.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019ve been reaching out to other West Virginia business owners to see if they would be interested in having businesses here,\u201d he continued. \u201cEverything we really want to do is something completely different than what we already have in town, so we\u2019re not stepping on anyone\u2019s toes.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe plan begins with a building on the corner of Eighth Street and Third Avenue. At this time, ideas are still flowing as to what that will be. Safrit said he hopes it will be either a retail space or a dining option that the county doesn\u2019t currently have.\r\n\r\n\u201cSometimes people look at me like I\u2019m crazy when I say some of the ideas I\u2019ve got,\u201d he said, laughing. \u201cI like bouncing things off of people to see what the reaction is. We\u2019d like to have a higher-end type restaurant, sort of like Elk River, to not compete with anybody else in town. I keep saying a wine bar. I\u2019m from a little town in North Carolina and one of the most successful businesses that I can remember there was a wine bar.\u201d\r\n\r\nWhile the lot is large enough for two or possibly three buildings, Safrit said he isn\u2019t looking to fill it up with just store fronts. He\u2019d like to have some open space for outdoor dining or games for locals and visitors to enjoy.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe\u2019ve toyed around with a putt-putt course,\u201d he said. \u201cI\u2019m in the landscaping business. That\u2019s what I\u2019ve done for the last twenty-five years, and I may sell some plants and trees in the spring or something. Just something so it\u2019s not an empty lot.\u201d\r\n\r\nBecause the lot is in the floodplain, Safrit said the building will be built to a certain level according to FEMA regulations, which will also give him peace of mind when the river rises.\r\n\r\nWith all the possibilities rolling around in his head, Safrit said he is ready to work with business owners and the town to create new opportunities in Marlinton.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m all about trying to help people get a business started,\u201d he said. \u201cWe want to do some outdoor amenities, as well. One of the things we talked about doing is rooftop dining. This town doesn\u2019t seem to take advantage of that. The weather here is a lot better climate than everywhere south of here. So in the evenings you can sit outside \u2013\u00a0have dinner or have a drink.\r\n\r\n\u201cHopefully, it\u2019s another thing that will help showcase the community,\u201d he added. \r\n\r\nSafrit and McKee have yet to decide on an architectural style, but Safrit said they want to make sure the building is appealing and eye-catching since it will be front and center on a corner on Main Street. \r\n\r\nConstruction will begin in the spring or summer of 2022.