Downtown living: Loft apartments opening in Mocksville
Published 9:27 am Thursday, February 10, 2022
By Jeanna Baxter White
Word Master Media Group
Historic Downtown Mocksville has a new place to live.
Barbara Cleary has created three apartments and an executive suite on the upper level of what was once known by Davie County residents as the Sears building.
The Lofts in Downtown Mocksville, at 119 W. Depot St., features two one-bedroom/one-bathroom apartments and one two-bedroom/two-bathroom apartment.
Each unit offers granite countertops, appliances and fixtures, and a full-sized washer and dryer. Prices range from $1,200 to $1,400 per month.
The furnished executive suite can be rented by the night for a short-term stay. Eventually, she plans to add a one-bedroom/one-bathroom handicapped accessible apartment on the ground floor.
Friends, town and county officials, chamber representatives, and community members helped Cleary celebrate her grand opening on Thursday, Feb. 3, with tours, refreshments, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Davie County Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber President Caroline Moser opened the ceremony by thanking Cleary for investing in Downtown Mocksville. “You and so many others are making this place absolutely amazing.”
“I know you have a great support team already, but we are here to help you,” said Chamber Board Chair Keith Beck. “This is a great addition to the town.”
Mocksville Mayor Will Marklin welcomed Cleary on behalf of the town and remarked: “We met with our downtown merchants this week and talked about all of the great things happening in Downtown Mocksville, and they have plans about how they want to move forward. But as far as residential development and people buying buildings and fixing them, this is just the cherry on top of the cake.
“We are looking forward to Mocksville moving into a new era with this kind of construction in the downtown area and people wanting to come here to live. I appreciate all that you’ve done. I look forward to seeing this place fill up and being the first of many projects like this,” Marklin said.
Touched by all of the positive comments and well wishes, Cleary was quick to give credit to her contractor, Shelton Construction. “I couldn’t have had anyone better to be my contractor. We worked so well together. Con and his son, Hunt, are simply fabulous. I’ve had so much fun working with these guys and their whole crew. I’m so thankful that this came about like it did and as well as it did. It wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have these people and the people of this town helping us get it done.”
Her foray into the housing market began after Daymark Recovery Services moved out in late 2018 after 15 years of leasing the building. She repainted and installed a handicap-accessible bathroom and a large gas furnace to prepare for a new retail tenant. Little could she have known that COVID would hit, the state would go into lockdown, and no one would be interested in leasing retail space.
“I prayed and prayed and prayed. I wasn’t sure what to do. Many people in the town, including Terry Bralley (president of Davie County Economic Development) and people from the chamber, and my son, Chuck, told me to put in rentals because the town needed places to live. So I decided to do it because I liked Mocksville and wouldn’t mind moving back.”
Unable to afford the building in Mocksville and her home in High Point, Cleary consolidated expenses by selling her house and moving into the lower floor of the building. To save money, she tore out walls, the ceiling, and the carpeting and did the painting herself.
“I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth. I learned how to work hard at an early age. My wonderful mom had the best work ethic of anyone I’ve ever known.”
She hired Shelton Construction to remove the studs and help with the projects she couldn’t do independently.
Once her apartment was complete, Cleary began plans to transform the rest of the building.
First, she hired Snider Engineering t
o evaluate the structure. Then, she designed the lofts herself, with the help of Chuck and Con Shelton. Shelton Construction tore out all of the walls, installed a new electrical system, plumbing, a sprinkler system, firewalls, fire doors, and a fire alarm system connected to the Mocksville Fire Department.
Cleary worked alongside the crew hauling lumber and cleaning up sawdust and debris each evening so that the team could start fresh in the morning. “We worked together daily, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The Sheltons have become good friends of mine; they feel like family.”
A strong supporter of shopping locally, she used Davie vendors whenever possible, including Caudell Lumber; Webb Heating and Air Conditioning; Davie Electrical; PF Plumbing; carpenter Paul Mallory, who did the trim work; Shane Green of Mayciella Interiors, who installed the cabinetry; and Stephanie Shoffner of Lydia Jaynes, who styled the apartments with furniture, rugs, and accessories from her shop for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
She is also thankful for the support of her friends, particularly Larry and Jenny Ledford, whom she stayed with periodically during the renovation.
“I love this town. I can see it growing by leaps and bounds. The people here are wonderful. Everyone I’ve worked with has been so nice. I am just really glad to be able to live in Mocksville and to build these apartments in Mocksville.”
To learn more about The Lofts at 119 W. Depot St., call Cleary at (336) 753-8022.