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Smithsburg man buys former hardware store

April 10, 2004|RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, PA.

The former Beck & Benedict Hardware store, a long-time Waynesboro landmark, was sold to a Smithsburg businessman who plans to renovate it.

Joe Daniels, owner of Specialized Contracting Inc., a building and home-improvement company, has begun making improvements to the three-story hardware store building at 84-86 W. Main St.

Upgrades to the heating and air conditioning system and two first floor restrooms are completed and the space nearly is ready for its first two tenants.

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Joann Toms of Waynesboro said Friday she is opening a fitness club on May 1 in the front section that once housed the hardware store.

A discount mail-order business will occupy space behind the fitness club.

Two large apartments occupy each of the top two floors. They, too, will be renovated in the future, Daniels said.

Overall, the building, which stretches from Main Street to an alley in the rear, covers more than 40,000 square feet on four floors, including the basement.

The back of the building once housed Wayne Manufacturing Co., a textile plant.

Daniels said he will turn the basement and remaining first floor space into storage units until more permanent plans for the building are developed.

He said he paid $150,000 for the building and estimates renovations will cost about $500,000.

"This is a one-of-a-kind building," Daniels said. "I have nothing specific in mind for it other than the fact that I know I can make it work."

Waynesboro, he said, "is the next place to change. It's right on the verge."

The building opened as a store in 1900 by Edward Beck and Daniel Benedict.

In later years, before it became vacant, it was a venue for blue grass music.

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