LUMBERTON — A piece of local banking history was reduced to rubble Thursday to clear the way for a fast-food restaurant.
Demolition crews tore down the brick building at Fayetteville and Liberty Hill roads that was built by Southern National Branch in 1986 and became a BB&T branch after those banks merged in 1995. It has been closed Aug. 11, 2017.
Plans are to build a McDonald’s restaurant on the lot, and the existing building didn’t fit those plans.
“It wouldn’t have the power or water requirements needed,” said Tony Bullard, job superintendent with Hudson Company of Henagar, Ala. “It was built as a bank, not a restaurant.”
Bullard, who has been involved in construction for 28 years, will be in charge of scheduling subcontractors, and ultimately getting the restaurant built.
The demolition work started Thursday morning with an excavator pulling down brickwork, wood, venting, and other materials.
What’s left is about 70 tons of debris and rubble, said Ben Clapp, a Jacksonville Paving heavy equipment operator. Separate piles were made of salvageable materials, such as aluminum, bricks, and copper.
“The bricks and concrete will be taken to Southeastern Concrete,” Bullard said. “It will be ground up and reused. The aluminum and copper scrap will be taken to a salvage yard.”
Other scrap materials will be taken to the county landfill.
Plants and shrubs are to be salvaged for use by the Covenant Worship Center and parsonage in Lumberton.
“These trees are probably worth $200 each,” said Mike Warwick, pastor of the church. “I’m incredibly grateful to the Rust family, Hudson Company, and all those involved. It’s a blessing.”
Kenneth and Lisa Rust own eight McDonald’s franchises in Robeson County.
“We’ll be making the house of the Lord pretty, beautifying the landscape and the church,” Warwick said. “The first appearance is a lasting appearance.”
In the days before the bank was closed, BB&T Market President Philip Stone told The Robesonian, “It was a carefully considered, strategic business decision.”
Employees were transferred to other BB&T locations. The bank operates another branch at Biggs Park Mall and a headquarters near downtown Lumberton.
The new McDonald’s is scheduled to open in mid-September, Bullard said, and be convenient to much of North Lumberton, the direction the city has grown for the last half century. It will be designed to seat 88 people.
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