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Landmark City Building Gets New Lease On Life
The familiar red Escalon Lumber and Hardware building on First Street will be getting a facelift and the inside renovated to allow for leasable office space.

The Escalon Lumber and Hardware building – at 1455 First Street – will be going out of the hardware business.

New owner Larry Grossi appeared before the Escalon City Council at its recent meeting and updated the council on plans for the site, which has been in business for decades.

The goal is to improve the facility so the familiar lumberyard building will continue to mark the spot, but renovate it to offer spots for smaller businesses to locate on the site.

“We’re cleaning it up, really going to go to town on it,” Grossi told the council. “We’re in the preliminary stages right now.”

The Schmidt family has owned and operated the lumberyard and hardware store for years and is starting the process of moving out the hardware products. The mill, where Randy Schmidt does custom woodwork and screens, will remain in operation.

Grossi said they are having plans drawn up now to present to the city regarding “what the overall plan” will be and said a major goal is “to preserve something that we have here in Escalon” with historic value.

The business is located just across the railroad tracks on First Street between Main and McHenry.

“We want to re-do the outside and divide it (inside) up into two or three office spaces,” Grossi explained.

An adjacent shop would also be divided into leasable spaces.

“A business park of sorts?” questioned Mayor Robert Swift.

Grossi said he would like to have several spaces for lease and council members generally agreed the idea seemed not only feasible but would be a welcome addition to the city.

“I think the beautification will add to that whole area,” Grossi said of freshening up the First Street corridor.

Council Jeff Laugero said he was pleased with the presentation.

“Keeping that tradition there, that building, that’s perfect,” he told Grossi. “It’s really nice to hear what your plans are.”

The site is zoned C2, retail-commercial and can accommodate a number of retail and commercial uses, including light industrial.