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Owners look to put new business in renovated building

Work is underway to renovate a 19th-century building in Hannibal’s first historic district.

320 North Main Street is a building that has stood the test of time.

“It’s an old building so we’re not trying to make it look like a new building,” said owner Sara North. “Part of the reason people like to be here is because it’s an old building.”

Most recently an antique store, the owners of the building, Frank and Sara North are in the final stages of renovating the building. For Sara, the project is a dream come true.

“This is a very big deal to me. I’m very lucky Frank is walking this walk with me,” she said.

A lot of work has already taken place. New windows have been installed and the walls have been re-plastered. The building is now equipped with an HVAC system for the first time ever.

“There was just a little window air conditioner in the back that we would try to cool the building in the summer. So having real heat and air in here is going to be a real benefit,” said Frank North.

The Norths said they hope to finish renovations within the next month.

They also own Becky’s Old Fasioned Ice Cream shop next door and they said it’s important they fill this empty store front quickly.

“Any time there’s empty store fronts, visitors see that and they get an impression that maybe things aren’t going so well,” said Frank. “So if you have store fronts that are active, businesses that are active, the visitors here get the impression this is a live town.”

“Before we even got started on this renovation, we had someone approach us with the thought about wanting to rent the building. It was kind of a good validation of the plan to renovate the building,” said Sara.

Now as for that business that is set to go in the building within the next couple of months, the Norths are not releasing what kind of business it is. They said it’s not a bar and it should fit in well with the other businesses on Main Street.

The owners plan to renovate the upstairs portion of that building next. They said they want to turn it into an apartment.

Brett Knese

Multi-Media Journalist at WGEM News.

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