MICANOPY, Fl. (WCJB)- "I remember my wife breaking down a little bit when she saw her booth, what was left of it all the ashes and stuff,” Art Adkins said.
Art Adkins and his wife Carol remember sifting through smoke and ashes after Smiley's Antique Mall in Micanopy caught on fire during a lightning storm in January.
“We were devastated,” Adkins said.
The couple were antique dealers at Smiley's and now they've decided to lease the new building from the property owner , Ben Campen, calling it "Antique City Mall."
The fire devastated the east side of the building so it had to be built from the ground up.
The whole building did have smoke damage so crews had to go in and gut the whole building out.
"We went back in and put new spray foam insulation in, which is very energy efficient and green. And LED lighting which is also very green. That we put in and a new epoxy floor,” Ben H. Campen, President of Smiley’s Markets and Malls, said.
The rebuild took eight months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Along with the new building comes a new concept for this industry.
"I've had other mall owners call me and they said you know Art, the idea of opening an auction house and the online store that's really a good move,” Art Adkins said.
"They don't have to physically come to the store anymore. They can view the products we have online through social media,” Arthur Adkins, Art Adkins’s son who designed the online store, said.
One antique dealer says the website is new to the antiquing world.
"I've been in this business 20 years and I've never seen anything like what Carol and Art are trying to put here,” America Gorgan, an antique dealer, said.
The owner says he wants the reopening to be an opportunity for antiquers to come together.
"What we really want to focus on are dealers, we want them to know that this is just like Smiley's. You got a home here,” Art Adkins said.
Adkins also says he’s looking to reopen the antique mall by the beginning of next month.