Willard Rhodes, 75, grew up eating candy made at the Weatherly Candy Factory in downtown Elizabeth City. For years, the life-long city resident drove along Water Street and wondered if anything would ever happen to the abandoned building.

Rhodes got his answer Friday when he joined about 100 other curious residents who toured the soon-to-be-opened Weatherly Lofts. The new apartment building features 43 upscale units that occupy the space that once housed the former candy factory and a Chevrolet dealership in an adjacent building.

“As I drove by when they were working on it, I wondered if they were going to have an open house,” said Rhodes, who is a retired Currituck public school teacher. “I wanted to see the inside of it and when it quit raining I decided to come down and see it.’’

Rhodes, like many of the residents who toured the building, marveled at the panoramic views of the Pasquotank River that many of the units offer. Rhodes pointed out to the others in the tour group that they were standing in the building that once was the home to Perry Motors.

“When I was little back in the 1950s, I remember the adults talking about a gentleman in town that would always come in here and buy the first new Chevrolet every year,” Rhodes said.

All but three of the units are one-bedroom apartments and all the units in the building range from 550-square feet to 1,000-square feet in size. Some of the one-bedroom units also feature a loft that could be used for a home office. Other features include energy efficient windows, tiled bathrooms, granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Some of the units feature wood floors while others have polished concrete and wood flooring.

Indoor parking is available and there is a community room and a roof top deck. All the units have high-speed internet.

“Twenty-six of the units have water views,” said developer James Flanigan. “The community room will have furniture, an ice maker, a refrigerator and stove cooking. A resident could host a party in the community room.’’

Construction started a little over a year ago and the first tenants will be begin moving in in the next few weeks.