TROY — Troy developer Wade Westfall is banking on his next renovation project to breathe new life into downtown Troy.
Westfall, owner of Four Sons Development LLC, purchased the former U.S. Bank building at 8 S. Market St. last fall after the bank closed its downtown location in July 2018.
While the solid wood teller booths and marble floors still have their 1929 flare, it’s what has been covered up for decades that sealed the deal for Westfall to buy the bank in October.
“What my goal in all of this is to, first and foremost, breathe life back into a vacant building in downtown Troy. This is our 11th property in downtown Troy. All the downtown Troy ones we’ve purchased over 30 years all sat vacant, some as long as 25 years,” Westfall explained.
“My hope is to take (this) vacant building and bring in a vibrant business, a destination business. Of course, we’d like to see some sort of restaurant, distillery, micro (brewery). It’d also make a great wedding venue.”
While the possibilities for the building are endless, Westfall is setting his sights on what has been hidden to draw in the potential occupants.
Westfall said the bank closed off the upper part of the building with a drop ceiling which hid the original decorative ceiling and craftsmanship, which Westfall fell in love with and is anxious to bring back during the restoration. The breathtaking 40-foot-high ceilings with colored ornate wooden inlay have been undercover since the 1970s.
“This is the reason, the only reason. Look at the arches,” Westfall enthused, pointing out the colorful inlay of the ceiling and its arches above. “This is the reason I bought it.”
Westfall shared how the drop ceiling was installed due to the cost of heating the building’s vast space, hiding the arches and decorative space. A stained glass chandelier, original to the 1929 time period and now covered in dust, sits in the corner ready to be restored and utilized once again.
In addition to its marble floors, the bank still has the majority of its other original features, including cherry hardwood finishes throughout the building. Westfall plans to remove a wall which hid the original boardroom in the upper area of the building, the section that has most captured Westfall’s heart for restoration heart and eye for development.
Westfall said he plans to have open houses and various events before the ceiling is removed to see what the public would like to see occupy the space. Westfall plans to install a kitchen area and a balcony circling the top to overlook the bank floor below.
Westfall said he’s been meeting with various real estate agents and other interested parties, entertaining ideas for the space. Once restored, the new occupants will also be in charge of the bank’s now-empty vaults and more than 3,000 keys to former safe-deposit boxes.
Westfall also is currently building new condos on Water Street, two of which are already sold and the other will be his and wife Susan’s new residence overlooking the Great Miami River to the north and the Miami County Courthouse to the south. That project is expected to be complete this spring.
Reach Melanie Yingst at firstname.lastname@example.org