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Downtown stores close as building shifts

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Two Downtown Wilmington shops closed their doors today amid safety concerns that their buildings might collapse. Daughtry's Old Books and Doublewide Skate and Surf Shop are closed until further notice. The stores are located at 22 and 24 North Front Street right next to the city's North Front Street construction project.

The stores received word yesterday that the building had shifted, and they had to evacuate. One store owner is left wondering where to go from here.

"I mean can you imagine moving 150,000 books?" Daughtry's Old Books co-owner Gwenfar Rohler said. "I mean seriously, think about it. We have over two linear miles of books. Where am I gonna put them? We're in limbo right now trying to figure out what the long-term plan is. If we do move, we're absolutely committed to staying in historic Wilmington and downtown Front Street."

The owner of the building, Ed Peacock, is working with engineers to find out what exactly caused the shifting. A city spokesman says it has no connection to the nearby road work.

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