Marc Schewel, CEO of Schewels, said he will continue to lease the first-floor courtyard to the currently occupied businesses.
“We are excited about our new headquarters and also about the potential new uses of our old building,” Schewel told The News & Advance on Thursday. “I think it’s a great use for the building. It has a lot of history for us but we weren’t in a position to do any development.”
He said he is excited to have the company’s offices stay downtown amid all the new development.
“It makes it more attractive for us to continue having offices downtown,” he said.
There are a lot of memories and nostalgia associated with the building at 1031 Main St., Schewel said, and he hopes West will consider naming it the “Schewel” building when its complete.
The company was started by Elias Schewel in 1897, when he opened his first store at 206 12th St. selling furniture and housewares. The downtown location, at the corner of 11th and Main streets, opened in the early 1950s.
When Elias Schewel retired in 1920, he sold the business to his three sons, Abe, Ben and Ike, according to a 1997 News & Advance article. They expanded the business outside of Lynchburg into Altavista and Harrisonburg in the 1930s.