Top's Diner

Top’s Diner, Mill Creek, is one of several business opportunities available to those looking to make an investment in Huntingdon County.

Would-be entrepreneurs and those looking to make a business investment have many options to “buy stock” in Huntingdon County with a number of commercial properties currently listed for sale.

Some are real estate investments with established businesses as leaseholders and two are popular local eateries.

“We’ve seen an increased interest in commercial property,” said Huntingdon County Business & Industry (HCBI) executive director Bob Reitman. “It’s difficult to say there is a trend, but we’ve talked to a number of realtors who have observed more interest.”

Top’s Diner in Mill Creek has been listed with Apex Realty Group and owner Rick Walker expressed his hope to find someone interested in continuing the restaurant’s reputation as a location for great food and great people.

“I’d like to find someone who is willing to carry on the tradition of what Top’s Diner is all about,” Walker said. “One thing that concerns me is that people think we are closing. I have every intention of keeping the business open until the day it sells so there can be a smooth transition, just like there was when I took over 13 years ago.”

Walker purchased the well-established business in May 2006 and, after 13 years as a restauranteur, has decided to explore other avenues.

“Basically, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for a change. It can be a struggle when it’s a one-man operation and not a corporation. It can be challenging at times,” he said. “I’m planning to look into something else at this point.”

The search for new proprietors is on and Walker plans to continue operations as usual until the day he hands over the keys.

“While I can’t hang on forever, I’ll be as selective as I can as far as the traditions and reputation for home-cooked food is concerned,” he said.

Donna’s Family Restaurant at the Mat Plaza in Smithfield Township is listed through Schrack Realty. In this case the real estate is leased and it is the business itself which is listed.

Also currently listed are two buildings which house established businesses, Taco Bell at 9578 William Penn Highway and Goodwill at 6725 Towne Center Blvd., both in Smithfield Township. These sales are similar in that it is the building only that is listed. The businesses will continue to lease the property.

The William Penn Highway property is listed with Dougherty & Partners, Philadelphia, and the Towne Center Boulevard property is listed with William Shearer, Carlisle.

“Every business has it’s changes over time, and place, too,” Reitman said. “There are business cycles and times when people find it advantageous to take advantage of property valuations. The causes vary in each case.”

The outlook for the listed properties seems positive.

“It’s a mixed back, but I think the general higher-level picture is pretty positive in terms of commercial property changeover right now,” said Reitman. “I do think there is a lot more interest across a wide variety of areas in the county and we see more people testing the water.”

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