Tonight, in Meridian, a building sitting at the entrance of the Poplar Springs Historic District --seen as a danger to the community surrounding it.
The Old Point Rexall building on 24th Avenue, once held a family business for more than 70 years, until it became vacant in 2015 after the business was relocated.
While vacant, it was vandalized, and area residents raised concerns of safety hazards due to the amount of broken glass on the ground from the broken windows.
The most recent report to the Meridian Police Department, was on January 31st, requesting observance of the building after a person was seen crawling out of one of the broken windows.
The building is still owned by the family whose business once occupied it and many in Meridian still have fond memories of the building
“So probably, once a week, I hear stories about the past of Point Rexall and my grandfather and the soda fountain and oh, I remember playing with the village and it just makes me so happy to hear those stories, because the 24th avenue was home for me”, said Jeanna White, one of the building’s owners.
But with the building now being dangerous, the owners believe it’s time has come to an end.
“It’s a fantastic location, it’s entering the historic district, it’s a neighborhood I played in growing up as a child, I’m very passionate about and has been there for 70 years and it has served its life for 70 years and it’s time for new life there at the corner—The Point”, said White.
Sharing that it will be torn down.
“We’ve been working on this since 2017, but it’s not just a building to us. That’s our family, and it’s been a very hard decision, but we are demolishing the building. It is already contract set, it’s been in the works since 2017 and it will be demolished”, said White.
Residents of the historic district are eager to see what will occupy the space next.
“I think the historic district would be excited to see anything come in, a coffee shop, a restaurant, a community center, a greenspace, anything to get it occupied, to have cameras on the location, anything like that, would be exciting for us.” Sarah Johnson, President of the Poplar Springs Historic Community Association.
The building will be demolished by the first week of April and according to the city, it is going through the process of becoming a condemned building.
Although no longer in the building on 24th Avenue, the family business, “Point Gifts” was relocated to the Atrium Mini Mall in Meridian and they have another location in Oxford, along with an online store.