A crew and equipment from Lovett & Mills Excavating last week demolished and cleared away the onetime gas station beside the Beaver House restaurant on South Main Street. The Beaver House's owners bought the property less than three weeks ago.
They plan to add some landscaped space with trees and use the remaining paved portion for added parking, said Clay Beaver, whose family has operated the restaurant since 1989 in the house his great-grandfather, John Alexander McDougald, built in 1911.
"We're putting a lot of green space in it and just trying to help with the streetscape for the Blue Mile," Beaver said.
The Blue Mile refers to community planning for a landscaped corridor surrounded by commercial and residential redevelopment on South Main from Georgia Southern University to the Bulloch County Courthouse.
The building that was torn down was originally a Gulf station, and after other incarnations was the Hillmart convenience store, Beaver noted. More recently, it had kept the shape of a gas station while serving as an Ebay store, but was now vacant.
The Beaver House has no expansion plans from its historic family home, but could use some parking that offers easier access than its lot in back, he said.
"I feel it's going to invite people in," Beaver said.
With getting the building down being the first objective, he does not have plans yet showing how many parking spaces will be created.
His family bought the lot at 119 S. Main through a limited-liability company called Pulleybone Properties LLC. The previously listed owner was Florence F. Hill, with a Savannah address. They closed the deal June 24, according to the Bulloch County Board of Assessors' record, which gave 1940 as the year the gas station was built. The building, distinguished from the land, had depreciated to a value of less than $4,000 in the county's appraisal.