Pinnix building for sale

Downtown Kernersville’s iconic Pinnix building is for sale.
“Most people close to us knew we were going to sell it,” said lifelong Kernersville resident and current Mayor Pro Tem Joe Pinnix, Jr., who shares ownership of what has become a family legacy with his cousin, Johnny Pinnix of Charlotte.
Pinnix said coming to the decision to sell the building that his grandfather, John M. Pinnix, built on the southeast corner of Mountain and Main streets in the mid-1920s was a difficult one.
“To be honest, it’s kind of been an emotional rollercoaster for me,” Pinnix admitted.
The lot on which the Pinnix building sits was owned by the Sapp family when Pinnix’s grandfather, known throughout the Kernersville community as “Neighbor” Pinnix, purchased the property in 1904. At the time, there was just a frame building on the lot.
“It was part of the Sapp family. They had a dry goods store there, and my grandfather opened the pharmacy when he got licensed,” Pinnix said. “He moved the frame building in the mid-1920s and built part of the original brick building. It has been added onto since then.”
Pinnix’s grandfather, his father, Joe Pinnix, Sr., and uncle, John M. Pinnix, operated Pinnix Drug Store from the first floor of the two-story brick building. The building was also home to the telephone company when Pinnix was a young boy, as well as the town’s post office.
“The telephone company was upstairs and my aunt, Alta Pinnix Smith, ran that. She was Daddy’s sister,” Pinnix recalled, adding that it wasn’t unusual for his mother to tell him to call Alta to tell her goodnight. “I’d pick up the phone and she would say, ‘number, please,’ and I would say, ‘I just called to say goodnight.’”
Pinnix Drug Store closed in 1986. At the time, John G. Wolfe, III had his law offices on the right side of the building facing South Main Street. After the drug store closed, Wolfe moved his offices into the main space. The right side is currently home to a financial services business.
“When we closed the drug store, he (Wolfe) took over the whole downstairs,” Pinnix said.
Kernersville Mayor Dawn Morgan said the building is an important part of the town’s history.
“It’s historic and is very attractive to our downtown. It will be a big change not to be owned by the Pinnix family,” she said.
Pinnix said he and Johnny Pinnix have talked about selling the building for several years, but it just wasn’t on his heart to part with the property, so strong is his connection to the Kernersville community. That began to change more recently.
“I just decided it was time. We’re getting older. I tell people I’m the last Pinnix as far as the drug store goes,” Pinnix said.
The building has only gone on the market in the last few days. Allied Commercial Property has the property’s list price at $1.3 million, with Chris Frantz, realty company owner, describing it as “prime downtown property” perfect for restaurant or office space.
Forsyth County tax listings indicate that the tax value on the 10,574 square foot building and .12 acre lot is $445,800.
“Right now, the second floor is storage but it could be office space or apartments,” Frantz noted.
The property has always been in the Pinnix family so it is understandable that coming to the decision to sell the building was a difficult one for Pinnix.
“Johnny lives in Charlotte and he has wanted to sell it for years, but I resisted,” Pinnix said. “My boys aren’t coming back to Kernersville so there’s no one left but me.”
He does hope the future owner keeps the Pinnix name alive.
“I hope that whoever buys it keeps referring to it as the Pinnix building,” he said.

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