Wells Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Waynesville has purchased a large building downtown that once housed The Mountaineer Publishing Company’s printing press.
The old press building is located on Wall Street directly behind The Mountaineer’s newspaper office and adjacent to the funeral home.
The two businesses negotiated for a couple of months before the funeral home eventually bought the land and building three weeks ago for $365,000.
The Mountaineer Publishing Company no longer operates its own printing press and instead outsources the printing of its newspapers to a large commercial press in the region, a growing trend within the newspaper industry.
“We just don’t need it,” Jonathan Key, publisher of The Mountaineer, said of the decision to sell off the building. The building had not been used for more than a year.
The funeral home has no concrete plans for the vacant building as of now.
“Our plans are not carved in stone at this time,” said Wells Greeley, owner of the funeral home and a Waynesville alderman.
But, Greeley said that it could be used for an expansion at some point in the future.
“We are weighing our options,” Greeley said, calling the lot a “good piece of property.”
The purchase will also ensure that Greeley controls what goes into that space, preventing the possibility of non-compatible business moving in next door.