Cecil Lewis' building on West Seaboard Street hadn't been used for years.
Plywood covered doors and windows, and parts of the roof had caved in. The town began code enforcement against the building's former owners in July 1995.
Through the years, the building changed ownership several times, according to Town Manager Delane Jackson. Each owner planned to renovate the structure, but very little work was ever completed.
Lewis was granted one last extension this summer, and as the deadline began to draw near, Jackon said demolition was started. Lewis hired the contractor and work was begun before the deadline was reached, Jackson said.
"We hate to see buildings torn down in Bladenboro," Jackson said, "but this went on long enough. We're just glad the town didn't have to take any further enforcement measures. The owner is cooperating fully."
A local contractor is dismantling the building using manual labor, Jackson said.
Because the store shares walls with two other businesses, Jackson said, the contractor decided to tear down the building by hand.
"They're doing a good, thorough job taking it down," Jackson said Monday. "This was the safest way to dismantle the building without harming the neighboring structures."
The building is flanked by New Wave Video Shop and Uptown Sign and Graphics on Seaboard Street.
Commissioners had feared the building would become a target for vandals.
In July, when commissioners granted one final stay on condemnation, Jackson said "a fire in a structure like that could be devastating to the other businesses on the block."
Jackson said it is not known what plans, if any Lewis has for the site once the storefront is cleared. Demolition has been underway since late September, and could take several more weeks.