© 2024. Randolph Hub. All Rights Reserved.


There are no takers yet on the  B.B. Walker Shoe Co. property.  Larry Penkava / Randolph Hub

The end of an era

ASHEBORO — Demolition of the old B.B. Walker Shoe Co. building is not an indication that a new business is coming.


Todd Schwarz, president of Schwarz RJR, LLC, told Randolph Hub that the building is in such bad shape that it was “decided to take it down.” Demolition began last week on the structure at 414 E. Dixie Drive, Asheboro.


Asked if there is a buyer or developer of the 4.3-acre site, Schwarz said, “I wish I had news.” 


He added that hopes are that tearing down the 34,190-square-foot building “should cause a lot of interest. Once we get it down and clear the land, we may start having interest” as developers or businesses “see what we have.”


Schwarz said he often hears rumors that B.B. Walker Shoe Co. will be torn down to make room for a national supermarket chain. To that he chuckles, “Give them our phone number.”


Entrepreneur B.B. Walker built the shoe factory in 1947, according to the Randolph County Geographic Information System (GIS). By 1971, the company had sales reported at $30 million.


However, by the turn of the 21st century, Walker was unable to compete with cheap imported shoes, closing production in 2001.


The building, with its shiny white brick exterior, has become an Asheboro landmark. Clearing the building will leave a hole in local history.


“I hate to see it go,” Schwarz said. “It has a lot of history. But it’s hard to maintain. We want a higher, better use for the property.”


The building is bordered on the north by Dixie Drive with Third Street on the west side and Atlantic Avenue to the south. On the east side are CVS Pharmacy and Dollar General, which face Zoo Parkway. 


Schwarz said demolition should be complete by the end of the year.