Chuck's Tires and Auto Service under new ownership
Chuck’s Tires and Auto Services will soon become Schmitt Automotive Repair, after local mechanic and historic preservation advocate Tim Schmitt purchased the building and the company last week.
Chuck's Tires and Auto Services soon will become Schmitt Automotive Repair, after local mechanic and historic preservation advocate Tim Schmitt purchased the building and the company last week.
Schmitt has about eight years of experience as a mechanic, all with Automotive Recyclers in Rochester, and is purchasing Chuck's Tires from Tim Hickey, he said.
"I've always wanted to open my own shop," Schmitt said.
The shop, on the corner of North Broadway and First Street Northeast, was built in 1930 as the Olmsted County Oil Co., according to Schmitt's records.
"It's a lovely art deco building, and there's not a lot of those around anymore," he said.
Schmitt purchased the business from Hickey for about $550,000, and said he plans to use some of the incentives and grant programs available for the maintenance of historic buildings.
Chuck's was recognized as a historic building in a preliminary report by the 106 Group, a consultant hired by the City of Rochester to study buildings for their historicity.
"The building is a style that calls back to a bygone era … Back then, if you had money, you build a fancy building and try to show off," Schmitt said.
Schmitt plans to open the shop on Saturday mornings, in addition to normal hours during the week, and possibly add a coat of paint on the inside. But otherwise, the biggest change for customers will be seeing him behind the counter, he said.
In addition to experience as a mechanic, Schmitt has been an accountant and a truck driver. He started working at Automotive Recyclers after hearing about an opening there, and he learned the ropes of a salvage yard and disassembling scrap cars.
"I like getting my hands dirty," Schmitt said.
Chuck's Tire is located within the boundaries of the Destination Medical Center zone, a fact that Schmitt hopes will bring him more business, since more people will be living and working downtown.
"It's good to see downtown coming back," he said.