Grand Piano pulling out of Hagerstown

May 14, 1997


Staff Writer

Grand Piano & Furniture Co., a fixture in downtown Hagerstown since 1976, will close its West Washington Street store at the end of the month, a company official said Tuesday.

Grand Piano is opening a larger store in Winchester, Va., in July that will replace both the Hagerstown store and a store that burned down in Winchester last year, said Steve Davis, vice president-director of advertising for Grand Piano's corporate headquarters in Roanoke, Va.

Davis said some of the Hagerstown store's 13 employees will have a chance to transfer to the Winchester store, but that the exact number hasn't been decided.


Davis said traffic has been declining at the store at 18 W. Washington St, and that the company tried but failed to find a larger building in Hagerstown that was within the company's budget, Davis said.

"Frankly, the location was becoming a handicap. Being in downtown made it difficult. Many consumers were just not attracted to shopping downtown," Davis said.

Mayor Steven T. Sager said the closing is unfortunate, but that when he talked to the furniture company's real estate agent last week, company officials were still interested in finding a new building in Hagerstown.

John B. Trent Jr., Grand Piano's director of real estate, said company officials are no longer looking for a Hagerstown site.

Grand Piano might open a new store in Maryland, but it's not clear whether it will be in Hagerstown, Trent said.

Sager said city officials want to help Grand Piano find a new Hagerstown store as well as help find a new business to move into the building the company is vacating. It most likely will be used for offices, he said.

"It is a good fit for one group in particular that we're working with," Sager said. He said it would be a new business, but would not identify the company.

He said he didn't think the city would be interested in buying the building.

Grand Piano isn't the only company the downtown has lost recently.

The popular McCrory's and the South Beach Coffee Shop, both in the same block as Grand Piano, closed their doors within the last six weeks.

Grand Piano's new Winchester store will be at the corner of Jubal Early Drive and Loudoun Street in a commercial district outside the downtown area that has seen recent growth, Davis said.

The new 50,000-square-foot store will replace the 34,220-square-foot Hagerstown store and a temporary 10,000-square-foot store in Winchester in an old downtown hotel.

Grand Piano's downtown Winchester store burned in a May 1986 fire that was caused by an electrical problem, Davis said.

Grand Piano was founded in Roanoke as a music store in 1911. It no longer sells pianos.

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