After years of vacancy, a developer is hoping to turn the buildings at 930 U.S. Highway 70 SW into a thriving retail outlet and community center. Mirchandani’s vision of renovating the building and creating a community space fit in with goals the City of Hickory has identified for that same area. The intersection of U.S. Highway 70 and U.S. Route 321 has been identified as a major gateway into the city, and a site for improvements using funds from 2014 bond referendum. Improvements in that entrance to town would likely include landscaping, signage and some type of art work, Hickory Planning Director Brian Frazier said. The work Mirchandani and his company have done help to improve the look of that corridor, Frazier said. The city has worked with Mirchandani and his company on the project. The Hickory City Council approved a $20,000 Vacant Building Revitalization and Demolition Grant for the project in December 2015.