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100 Story Skyscraper Planned For Oriental
Area builder finds low cost plans
February 13, 2003

“What will the new roof on Fulcher’s building look like?”

hat’s the question Oriental residents have been asking. Area builder Fred Johnston says he has an answer.

Johnston shows off the Surplus Tower plans he found for just $39.95

Johnston has followed the news regarding the proposed plans for the new World Trade Center in New York. It is estimated that tens of millions have been spent on over a dozen different proposed plans – and most have been rejected. It’s those rejected plans that Johnston has focused on. Having been paid for by government money, Johnston realized that the unused plans would have to be made available to the public. His amazing discovery – the plans have been classified as "surplus" and are being sold to licensed contractors for just $39.95.

With these plans in hand, Johnston says he intends to build two 1600 foot tall towers, using the existing concrete structure at Fulcher’s as a foundation. The TownDock NewsExtra staff wondered – had Fred ever tackled a project of this magnitude? "Well…I’ve constructed buildings that were 5,000 sq ft" says Johnston. We noted that the plans called for the towers to contain almost a million square feet. "It’s really just like building a house" countered Johnston, "just think of it like building a lot of houses."

Johnston has been spending a lot of time reading up on the subject

In reviewing the plans we noticed it specified some rather exotic materials – titanium alloy beams for example. Johnston says that won’t be necessary. Instead he will be using "Pamlico Builders finest quality pressure treated lumber."

An artist’s rendition of the proposed "Oriental Towers"

Johnston believes the Oriental Towers will have a very positive effect on the local economy, stressing the new businesses they will attract.

“I want the towers to fit in with Oriental," says Johnston. "The first two floors will be a casino with a fishing theme. Mixed in with the blackjack tables and roulette wheels will be an actual fish packing plant. This will have the traditional feel of Oriental.”

The previous roof on the building had to be removed in December due to its exceeding the town height limitations by about 8 feet. As this will exceed the height limit by some 1,557 feet, it may have a similar problem. "No – not at all" stressed Johnston. “At this height it is just an FAA matter.”

Across from the proposed job site, Fred points to where the towers will be

Still, Johnston said as a good-will gesture that he would take up his plans with the town planning board. Another issue that Johnston has yet to wrap up is an agreement with the building’s owner.

"I haven’t called Chris yet," says Johnston, "but I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t like the idea."

A future public hearing is planned to be held at the Town Dock – in full view of the proposed building site. Johnston says he may hire illusionist David Copperfield to create a holographic image in the place the towers will be.

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