LEXINGTON, S.C. — A new development is coming to Lexington, but some worry it's coming at the expense of an old house on Sunset Boulevard.
The empty house is almost 120 years old and sits quietly on the busy Lexington road.
"You can see that someone hasn't lived there for a long time," said Steve Patel.
Patel is a project manager for Storage Units Lexington, which bought the property in September 2021.
This year, they plan to tear down the house and build a new storage unit facility in its place. “It'll be a three-story office building type look, the architecture will match the neighboring properties,” explained Patel.
However, when Lexington resident Christine Delmater saw the "coming soon" sign in front of the vacant house, she was disappointed that it wasn't going to be preserved. She said a lot of frustration has been building in her community due to rapid growth in the area without preservation of history.
Delmater said these new developments that replace older buildings are causing Lexington to lose some of its character.
“I’m afraid with all the growth that’s happening we’re losing the Lexington we love," Delmater added.
However, Patel said his company did try to preserve the old house by having it moved elsewhere.
“We thought we wanted to salvage it. We had a couple of professionals come in and see how we can move it. Both of them said specifically, 'No, it cannot be moved,'” Patel said.
Plus, he said the house was on the market for a long time before they bought it because it’s covered in asbestos.
“By the time we finish removing the asbestos, the house would be down to bare bones. It's an unfortunate event, but we had to go ahead and make a decision on tearing it down," Patel said.
While it’s not the answer Delmater hoped for, she said she appreciates the effort and hopes the Lexington community can come together to find ways to preserve other old buildings.
As for the new storage facility, Patel said their goal is to begin construction this summer and complete the new build in July 2023.