Shirk Building newest project for downtown developer

A downtown building that was built as a tire store and automotive service center is getting a new life as local developer Jason Duff continues to invest in the preservation of existing downtown structures.

Chuck Lensman of Robinson Building Solutions disassembles a drop ceiling as Shawn Mundy paints inside the 121 W. Chillicothe Ave. building that is under renovation. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

The 121 W. Chillicothe Ave. building originally built by Frank W. Shirk in 1928 as home to his Logan Tire Co. has been home to several dry cleaning operations in the recent past but will have a dramatically different use in the near future, Mr. Duff said.

He bought the building in June and has begun developing it as work continues on other high profile properties throughout Bellefontaine, including the 100-year-old Canby Building directly across the street from the Shirk Building.

“We really want to get this building into a position that it is turn-key,” Mr. Duff said, noting that the storefront glass has been replaced, restrooms are being improved, new electric and insulation installed along with other improvements.

“We’d love to see a business locate there that would draw more traffic downtown.”

He said one option being considered for the space is a medical office, although any potential tenants for the two available spaces would be considered.

Meanwhile, work continues at the Canby Building. With exterior work essentially complete, Mr. Duff said the goal is to fill the ground-level space with a suitable occupant, which could be a restaurant or a retail business. Currently, the ground-floor window space is being used to promote local businesses and upcoming events.

Also downtown, Mr. Duff bought the former Canterbury Coffee, 135 W. Columbus Ave., in December and a retail tenant has already expressed interest in the location, although Mr. Duff declined to identify the business until the details are finalized.

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LEFT: Bellefontaine businessman Frank W. Shirk’s Logan Tire Co. is shown in this undated photo from the archives of the Logan County Historical Society. RIGHT: The same 121 W. Chillicothe Ave. building that was built in 1928 is being renovated by local developer Jason Duff. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)