Renovation scheduled for another Huntington building - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Renovation scheduled for another Huntington building

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JAMES E. CASTO / For The State Journal JAMES E. CASTO / For The State Journal
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By JAMES E. CASTO

For The State Journal

After turning a historic 4th Avenue building into luxury-style condominiums, developer Shane Radcliff is turning his attention to another nearby Huntington building.

He’s purchased the former M.D. Angel clothing store building and is starting work to refurbish its first floor retail space and convert the upper floors into a dozen one-bedroom apartments.

A Huntington native and Marshall University graduate, Radcliff has been a local real estate broker and developer for 20 years, but last year’s project at 831 4th Avenue was his most ambitious to date.

The four-story building was built circa 1920 to house the Huntington location of the O.J. Morrison Department Store chain. It later was occupied by a furniture firm and, still later, a bookstore and café. Essentially gutting the long-vacant building, Radcliff turned it into luxury condominiums.

Radcliff didn’t have to look far for another project to tackle. He’s purchased the Angel’s building — just one block away at 918 4th Avenue — and plans a major transformation for it.

The structure originally was built in 1910 to house the Johnson Mortuary. In 1929, Max D. Angel purchased it and opened a men’s clothing store. The building’s original façade was plain red brick, but Angel wanted something different. He had the store front decorated with black Belgian marble and placed elaborately rendered coats of arms beneath each window. Angel’s store prospered over the years, eventually adding boys and women’s clothing to its offerings.

In 1961, the Union Company, a Columbus, Ohio, department store, purchased the Angel store as a branch location. The Union Company closed the store in early 1964, and in the decades since the building has seen only a series of short-term tenants. Today, it’s much altered from its original appearance.

Radcliff said he plans to restore the building’s façade “so it basically looks just like it looked.” The ground-floor retail space has already been leased to a Huntington design firm, he said. The rear portion of the building will be torn away to provide parking for the building’s apartment tenants.

The developer said he had been eyeing the building for several years but finally was prompted to purchase it by the current Marshall University project that’s transforming downtown’s former Stone & Thomas Department Store into a new Visual Arts Center for the MU College of Fine Arts. The center, expected to open in August, will have approximately 300 students, faculty and staff, and is located just across the alley from the former Angel’s building.

“The downtown has a lot of condos, but it doesn’t have a whole lot of apartments,” Radcliff said. “So I think this will be enticing for faculty and students.”