The building that houses Wendell August Forge is for sale, but the company isn’t leaving town.
“Any decision keeps us in the Grove City area,” Will Knecht, company chair, said on Thursday.
The property at 2074 Leesburg-Grove City Road, Springfield Township, was recently listed for $4.1 million with local Realtor Lucy Wann of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.
Wendell August has been approached by several investors who expressed interest in buying the facility, which measures about 40,000 square feet, Knecht said.
The building is owned by Wendell August Forge, the country’s leading retailer of handcrafted metal giftware.
The building includes the company’s production operations and its flagship retail store. Amish Peddler rents space for its furniture store toward the rear of the building.
Company officials including President Christian Werner are weighing their options, which Knecht said they would be foolish to not pursue.
They’re in the exploratory phase, and those options are: selling the building and relocating the business elsewhere in the Grove City area; selling the building and leasing space from the new owner; or doing nothing.
The “doing nothing” option could mean that Wendell August leases more space in the building that will soon be vacated by Little Earth Productions, he said.
That company has been selling sports-themed items at Wendell August, which has other stores at Grove City Premium Outlets, and in Berlin, Ohio.
Knecht wants to assure folks that Wendell August is not going out of business or moving out of the area.
He believes that whatever decision they make will strengthen the company and benefit Wendell August plus its employees and customers in the long run.
Wendell August opened the Springfield Township facility off of state Route 208 in 2013 following an accidental fire in 2010 that destroyed its original location in Grove City.
A small spark in a paint booth ignited some lacquer, and the shop’s fire suppression unit didn’t work.
Operations continued in temporary spaces in the area while plans for rebuilding came together.
The company was founded in 1923 in Brockway, Pa., by Wendell McMinn August, who moved the business to Madison Avenue, Grove City, in 1932.
Knecht’s father, F.W. “Bill” Knecht III, ran the business from 1978 until his death in 2004.