By VICKI BROWN
The former Novits building, located on Washington Street in downtown Walterboro, is about to have a makeover.
The art deco space has been sold to a businessman from Fayetteville, N.C.. Joshua Gray-Heim purchased the damaged building and has big plans to restore it back to its original 1908 beauty, including the sign.
“We plan to turn it into an upscale hair salon and spa with high end apartments above for leasing,” said Gray-Heim. He wants to have between eight and ten stylists work for him there. “I helped at Paul Mitchell’s in Charleston and hope to include a lot of his work in our salon,” he added. The new owner said he hopes to serve wines and beverages, and maybe even a snack, to full-service spa visitors, as well as specialty coffees from Due South. But that’s not all.
He also purchased the building behind the old store and said he plans to tear down everything, leaving just the 10-foot-walls. Inside those open-area walls, he hopes to install a patio for outdoor music as well as a bistro next door with deli sandwiches and paninis.
“The patio will be about 1,000 to 1,200 square feet, which is plenty of space for outdoor entertainment. The old building that we are tearing down is not historical in any way, and we plan to repurpose all of the wood that we can,” said Gray-Heim, who is working with an architect to recreate the art deco style of the original Novits building. “We try to repurpose and reuse 95 percent of materials that we take from the older buildings.”
Gray-Heim hopes to begin construction this May with a grand opening next spring. “I met Eric Lindstrom of the Golden Daffodil who told me about Walterboro. I have met people here and I love this small, relaxed community,” he said.