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Masonic Temple has sign of new life

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The developers of the Masonic Temple have taken a new but small step in restoring the historic Washington Street landmark.

A new sign with the building’s 242 Washington St. address now adorns the front yard, where a mural had been placed by Henderson artist Garrett L. McCarthy.

Augusta Withington and Robert J. Campany, who run Fourth Coast Inc., a renewable energy company in Clayton, have not closed the deal to purchase the building yet, but they are making preparations to get it ready for when that happens.

In June, the two came forward in the 11th hour to put a purchase offer on the vacant structure just as the property was going through the back taxes process and faced city takeover. They are buying it from Mr. McCarthy, who purchased it last year through the tax sale process.

The developers intend to rent out the first floor for office space but have no definite plans for the upstairs, where there is a grand meeting room. In recent weeks, a construction crew has been working inside and outside the building in preparation for the new developers acquiring the structure.

Two years ago, Mr. McCarthy acquired the tax sale certificate from ICA Renovations III LLC, the Marietta investment firm that holds the $17,500 mortgage on the downtown structure.

Mr. McCarthy planned to convert the century-old landmark into an educational and performing arts center.

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