By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — The renovation of an iconic Main Street business began earlier this week with the removal of a former supermarket building.
Hartway Motors plans to greatly increase the size of its car lots, which required the removal of the property’s north-most building. Hartway Motors President Lisa Hartway said the building had been used to store detailed cars before delivery, but its flat roof was in bad shape and the desire to add more cars to a landlocked property made a hard decision easier.
”It’s kind of nice to be making some decisions, but this was gut wrenching,” said Hartway, who noted the former Loblaw’s was a solidly built structure. “We had to be really sure we wouldn’t use building in the future ... it wasn’t being used to its full potential and to fix it to use as a showroom or more service bays was cost-prohibitive.”
Demolition started Monday, opening up the view of the dealership from the north and adding space for 50 more cars on the lot. Hartway said cars will start to arrive next week.
”It’s more work for our Used Car Manager Mike Kuhman,” Hartway said. “He’s got his work cut out for him finding the inventory ... everybody is really excited.”
The project is a part of the renovations occurring at Hartway Motors this year to adapt the signage and look of local dealership to match Chevrolet’s national image. A new front entrance sign and a portico are being added, but the historic showroom building will maintain the same footprint.
Hartway said she will submit the project’s final plans to General Motors soon with the hopes to start sometime in April.
”Once we start construction, it would have been tight,” Hartway said. “There wouldn’t be any place to put construction trailers. We squeezed this in before the next (project).”
And in time before the spring car-buying rush, which Hartway said starts with tax returns arriving and kicks into high gear when the snow melts away for the last time.
”My belief is that it’s the people and product you have that’s important, “ Hartway said.
l you have and the product, the building is last on the list. to have the product options.”
ppl start buying more when they get their tax refunds and then the spring are good months.Contact reporter Jim Krencik at 798-1400, ext. 6327.