East Market Street in Harrisonburg is the most desirable area of the City for national restaurants and retailers. In fact, it was my site selection work for a national chain that led me to one of my more interesting finds on Google.
Approximately a month ago, I was working on a project to identify a Harrisonburg location for a national franchise. I’ll spare the details of all the different site requirements–it is sufficient to say they wanted to be on East Market Street (or in close proximity) with easy access in and out of the property.
After a bit of research and a few phone calls, we had identified a site that met all of the criteria, made an offer, and prepared to move forward. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, the deal fell through and we were left with few options.
We started the process over again, reviewing each property on E. Market to see if any could be converted for my client’s purposes. Nothing readily presented itself from the ground, so I turned to the air in the form of Google maps–and that is when I found a sign…
Trust me folks, it is generally not this obvious. And so, naturally, I was too intrigued by this find not to learn more about why someone decided to paint “4 Sale” on top of their building, so I wrote to Larry Parlee, the owner of the property and the business. Here’s the story—
Approximately fifteen years ago, well before the time of Google aerial shots for all, Larry wanted to convey to his children that everything was always for sale…for the right price. That lesson in hand, his two boys decided put the philosophy into practice and went to the roof of Acme Stove Co. on E. Market Street with a can of paint and a roller. Years went by and only passing airplanes (low flying), helicopters, and sometimes neighboring construction workers could see the sign—until Google maps and a good reason came along.
The next aerial shots Google takes will not include the sign—it has since been painted over, but that’s not to say Larry wouldn’t entertain an offer—after all, everything’s always for sale…for the right price. But for now, and I expect well into the future, the vibrant business that is Acme Stove will continue to successfully operate on E. Market Street in Harrisonburg.
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