Landmark Downtown properties change hands

Work continues on the Downtown Salisbury’s West Main Street.

Two commercial buildings in buildings in Downtown Salisbury – the former homes of Market Street Books and Kuhn’s Jewelers – now have new owners.

The bookstore property at 146 West Main St. had been home to Market Street Books since 1993 and has apartments on the second and third floors. Tonney Insley of SVN | Miller Commercial Real Estate represented both sides in the transaction.

Betsy Henry owned the property with her husband, Keith, and operated the store all these years.

 “I will miss my ringside seat to the Downtown revival. But most of all I will miss you, my customers, who shared your interests and your stories and sometimes your lives with me,” she said in a Facebook post. 

The property is next to the site where the city plans to build a footbridge across the Wicomico River to Mill Street and install an edible garden featuring fruit trees, blueberry bushes, herbs and other edible plants. 

The new owner has not yet solidified plans for the property but hopes to incorporate a use that takes advantage of the potential bridge traffic, and the city garden just behind the building, according to a SVN | Miller news release.

The Kuhn’s property on the Downtown Plaza was settled on April 17. The new owner is Doug Church, who also owns the neighboring buildings that house Sushi de Kanpai, Tony Weeg Photography and Salisbury Coffee on the street level with apartments upstairs.

Insley brokered the deal in collaboration with Joey Gilkerson of NAI Coastal.

Kuhn’s moved to Sea Gull Square in October to what was supposed to be a temporary location during the Main Street construction project that threatened to interrupt the store’s busy Christmas season. But owner Susan Purnell later decided to stay in the South Salisbury Boulevard spot.

Prior to settlement on the Kuhn’s building, NAI Coastal advisor George Merritt secured a lease with Lilac Clothing Co., a women’s fashion boutique owned by Jennifer and Jamie LeCates. It is scheduled to open in May.

“This is a prominent building in the history of the Plaza and will probably always be known as the ‘Kuhn’s building,’” said Merritt. “I know that the LeCates family will show it the reverence it deserves while bringing their own brand of women’s fashion to compliment Downtown’s retail resurgence.”

The second floor of the building is leased to Perdue Art Therapy, a company that blends traditional counseling principles with art-based therapies that encourage creative expression.

Another clothing store, BomShell Boutique, is scheduled to open later this year on the Plaza. The company has two other stores in Rehoboth Beach and West Ocean City.

Lilac and BomShell will join several other locally owned Downtown shops including The Shady Sun, Angello’s Unique Gifts, and Dryden’s Dress Co.

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