GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Developers Barry Siegal and Willard Tucker have taken on a massive project in Greensboro.
They're renovating the Southeastern Building at the corner of North Elm Street and Market Street in the heart of downtown.
Seeing an early picture of the structure, which was built in 1919, inspired them to buy it 7 years ago with plans to renovate.
"We jumped in. We had no idea at that time that the real estate world was gonna come to crashing halt and we'd have the obstacles we've had," Siegal explained.
Siegal and Tucker worked through loans, grants and financing to get the money they needed to start.
"Here we are almost seven years later. And we are proceeding full speed ahead," he promised.
They are currently in the demolition process. "We've removed most of the asbestos in the building," he pointed out, adding this stage will likely last another two months.
The Southeastern Building originally housed the American Exchange National Bank.
"The original vault is still in the basement. That is such a rare find," he said, making his way downstairs to the vault. "That is where all safety deposit boxes were."
The top floors of the building will be transformed into 51 urban apartments. The second and third floors will be open for business and office space. The ground floor and basement will host retailers and restaurants.
Construction will include removing and moving back the facade of the building in order to add columns to the front and side of the structure, recreating the original design.
The whole project will cost "well over" $10 million, laughed Siegal.
"It's coming together. It really is," he added.