Murray business owners positive despite downtown’s mess

 Some holiday shopping communities are facing a few eyesores that may push people away. Downtown Murray is dealing with several disastrous changes in the last year.

A building in Murray’s court square collapsed in February, a month later a building’s roof caved in and in July, a fire caused a building to be torn down. Now another building is coming down – the former Hair Masters Salon and Petter Business Systems at 500 Maple Street. The building’s owner, Charlie McKinney, said repair costs were just too high.

These changes aren’t tearing down business owner’s spirits. Plenty of stores will be open with deals for small business Saturday.

Kenneth and Arlene Tom walked through downtown Murray for the first time Friday. They said they didn’t even notice the court square’s empty spaces or burnt down buildings. 

“Even though there’s an empty lot the buildings appear to be in pretty good shape,” Tom said.

Which is a comforting feeling for store owners like Bonnie Raspberry. Her shop Wild Raspberry has been around for 43 years. She said the square’s disasters had her worried, but then shoppers started rolling back in.

“People don’t seem to mind if you have something they want they are going to come for it,” Raspberry said.

The building at 500 Maple Street was going to be rebuilt up until last week. The owner, McKinney, said during post-demolition work of the Peel & Holland building next door they discovered his building had a basement and passageway.  He said research shows the Peel & Holland building used to be an old bank and that the passageway helped move money to his building undetected.  

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