Tighe Bullock, the owner of Bullock Properties, grew up in the ghost town of Thurmond, West Virginia. He was inspired to reverse the dilapidation of buildings in historic towns. With dual degrees in Accounting and Business Management – Magna Cum Laude, a Juris Doctorate, and 15 years of construction experience, Bullock has put himself to the task of preserving West Virginia history.
As a raft guide, ski instructor and mountaineer, Bullock makes the most of living in the Mountain State. Bullock also serves on multiple nonprofit and advisory boards, including the WV Small Business Development Center, the Mount Hope Historic Landmark Commission and as a city councilman in his hometown of Thurmond.
Bullock was a guest on the Positively West Virginia Podcast, where he talked with host, Jim Matuga, about his passion for restoring dilapidated buildings in historic West Virginia towns back to their former glory.
Tell us about the revitalization projects you are working on.
“Our latest project was building out a distillery. That’s going to be within our company, Bullock Distillery,” said Bullock. “It was an empty, dilapidated building; the roof was caving in on it. So we purchased it and renovated it. We hope to be in operation in the second quarter of this year.”
“We’ve helped about 14 new businesses be created in the area, and I think at the last count, we’ve helped create 80 permanent jobs that still exist and are ongoing and growing. We used many methods to generate this. I have a general contractor’s license and being an accountant and business manager helps me in the day to day operations and forecasting in the business.
Being an attorney helps me write my contracts, purchase agreements and understand the property law of the business. It’s just a fulfilling thing. I live right down the street from the Elk City Historic District. I walk to work every day, and there’s something different. I especially enjoy the creative aspect of everything we do.”
What is the best business moment you have had so far?
“I would like to start with my worst business moment. Probably one of the worst moments as an entrepreneur, I had made an application to get a building on the historic register. It formerly wasn’t. Once we got into the building and started doing some deconstruction, we found some historical components that were not evident until we started doing the demolition process. As we began, we started thinking that this building, which was supposed to be from 1940, was at least 30 or 40 years older than that.
So, we made this application; we were initially approved. Then, we got halfway through the project, and we got a letter from the Part 2 Department and the Department of Interior in Washington DC saying that mistakes were made and this was being denied. We had begun the project thinking we would be [restoring it back with historical methods].
When we got that letter, my heart sunk. It was a big deal to us and it could have meant closing our doors. I stopped what I was doing, and put my lawyer hat on, and did a lot of research on the process of how things get on the register and how they are taken off.
I spent about two weeks delving into the code of federal rules. We made a pretty compelling case to the government that revoking the nomination, was both procedurally and substantially incorrect. That is my worst and best business moment,” said Bullock.
What is one piece of advice you would give a young entrepreneur?
“I would say, and take this with a grain of salt, get in over your head a little bit. Not too much to where you’re going to get discouraged, but I think it’s okay that if you’ve considered everything and you think you’ve got something, take the first step,” advised Bullock.
Bullock was a guest on the Positively West Virginia Podcast. Listen to his full podcast here: https://positivelywv.com/podcast/episode-109-tighe-bullock-bullock-properties/
PWV QUICK BITS | BULLOCK PROPERTIES
- RECOMMENDED BOOK: The March of the Ten Thousand: Being A Translation of The Anabasis by Xenophon
- RECOMMENDED ACTON TO TAKE EVERY DAY: “I don’t think there’s a single day that I don’t think about my business,” said Bullock.
- ADVICE: “I would say, and take this with a grain of salt, get in over your head a little bit. Not too much to where you’re going to get discouraged, but I think it’s okay that if you’ve considered everything and you think you’ve got something, take the first step,” advised Bullock.