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On the move downtown

June 27, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A mini-revival is under way in and around Waynesboro's square, where the face of downtown business is changing.

A paint studio has opened, and so has a tattoo parlor.

A sporting goods store is moving from one side of West Main Street to the other, into the former JC Penney building.

A shoe store has a new owner.

A soon-to-open computer troubleshooting business expects to have an Internet caf.

Finally, a bike repair shop is about to open - also with computers.

"We're getting a little bit more (business) coming now than going," said Carol Henicle, the executive director of the Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce.

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Waynesboro's "downtown" stretches from North Grant Street to Broad Street, Henicle said, but the most movement is happening near the square.

Ron Hartzok thought he had retired after 35 years in the retail business, which included children's clothing stores in Hagerstown and Chambersburg, Pa.

Then, an opportunity arrived.

The owner of Olympian Athletics at 78 W. Main St. decided to give up his business. Hartzok, who owns the building, recalled thinking, "Hey, looks like a nice little hobby," so he took over.

Two years later, Olympian Athletics is doing about 12 times the amount of business it had been doing, said Hartzok, who runs the business with his wife, Shirley, and son, Doug.

Doug has made numerous contacts through his work as a sports official for school baseball, football and basketball games. "Bingo, bango, bongo," and a bunch of athletic directors became customers, Ron Hartzok said.

Hartzok said he never expected to be putting "Waynesboro" on T-shirts at 2 a.m., but here he is. He lives next to a golf course in Chambersburg, yet said, "I'm lucky to play five rounds of golf a year."

This week, Hartzok was in a T-shirt and shorts himself, painting the inside of the former JC Penney building at 55 W. Main St. New lighting and plumbing were installed.

Stake's Furniture, the most recent tenant there, moved out a month ago.

Hartzok said Olympian Athletics will go from 800 square feet now to 5,000 square feet on the first floor of its new home.

The entire building is 15,000 square feet. Hartzok said he may rent the basement to sports clubs. He has an idea for using the second-floor balcony, too.

Olympian Athletics - which sells equipment, sportswear, uniforms and sneakers - is staying open until the new building is ready. Hartzok predicted that would be Monday.

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