A building that was home to a longtime Smithfield Township dry cleaning business is expected to be torn down in the near future to make way for a produce stand.
The Buck’s Laundry property at 101 Juniata Ave. was purchased in May by John and Miriam Wengerd of Tyrone.
The building was previously owned by Robert and Jane Mills, who had operated the laundry and dry cleaning business from 1967 until their retirement in November 2015.
The Mills’ son, Kevin, worked for the family’s business for 12 years, and helped handle the sale of the property.
“I was very sad to drive by the other day and see the building empty and the doors and windows torn out,” said Mills. “I had asked Mr. Wengerd what he was going to do with the property and he said he was going to level it, have a blank lot and then possibly set up a fresh fruit and vegetable stand on it.”
Mills said all the doors and windows have been removed from the building and all of the utilities have been disconnected.
Smithfield Township code enforcement officer Ed Habbershon said Wengerd has not yet secured permits to demolish the building.
“There are working and going through the process to get the permits they need to tear down the building,” he said, “but communication issues have slowed down things. We were in (the property) and had some asbestos removed, but other than that, from what the new owner has told me, he plans to tear down the building and selling produce from the empty lot. He has no plans of building or adding any other structure to the lot.
Mills explained he had high hopes another business would occupy the structure.
Buck’s Laundry and Dry Cleaning Inc. first opened its doors in 1948 by Harry “Buck” Mills.
The Wengerds were unavailable for comment.