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HUNTINGTON Work has started on the property of the former Elks Lodge building in downtown Huntington.

"Right now, we are clearing the structure behind the building to make room to bring in our construction materials to begin renovation of the building," said Bobby Gleason, one of the new owners. "After that, the back part will eventually be a parking lot for the renovated building."

At the end of April last year, the building at 1015 4th Ave. was purchased by Gleason and David Ray of B&D Realty in Huntington. They said they intend to turn it into luxury apartments.

"We estimate the project will cost more than $1.5 million," he said.

Since the building is a historic landmark, Gleason said it took some time to go through the proper channels before the renovations could begin.

"Our goal is to be ready for tenants by August this year," he said.

The Huntington Elks Lodge was instituted Jan. 1, 1895. It met at various locations, including the Broh building and the Kelly building, before erecting its 4th Avenue home in 1909.

"I think the history of the building will attract a lot of people," Gleason said. "There are also a lot of people trying to move to the downtown area, and we thought this would be a great addition to the community."

Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter at @FredPaceHD.

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