Developer Robert Grayston is restoring the strip mall on Market Street in Selinsgrove to its original condition.

“It’s definitely a gateway into Selinsgrove and one of the first buildings people notice,” said Selinsgrove Projects Inc. President Malcolm Derk of the property in the 500 block of Market Street.

Grayston has invested at least $270,000, including $150,000 on a new roof, $85,000 repairing the parking lot and $40,000 on new windows.

He’s restoring the glass facade, adding new lighting and double glass doors.

“I’m trying to restore it to the original. I haven’t started on the inside yet,” he said of the three vacant units. The 3,250-square-foot, 2,750-square-foot and 1,400-square-foot spaces will be available for rent in January.

Smokers Express at 513 N. Market has been the sole occupant of the 10,000-square-foot building since the state wine and liquor store relocated to Monroe Marketplace in 2015 and a few years earlier West Coast Video had closed.

It’s been a good location for Smokers Express for 21 years, said store regional manager Don Barth.

“I expect the effects (of the upgrades) will be felt,” he said.

Originally an Acme Market grocery store built in the early 1950s, Charles “Bo” Fasold grew up two blocks away and recalls buying baseball cards there.

“The front windows Rob has put in is how it looked back then,” said Fasold, who lauds the developer for investing in many Valley properties and filling empty storefronts. “He’s really valuable for the whole community.”

Grayston said it’s important to him to invest in properties in the town where he and his wife, Melissa, are raising their family.

“I’m not buying buildings to flip them,” he said.

Resident Mike Bolig works near the strip mall and is glad to see the building get a facelift.

“It’s the best it has looked in my lifetime,” he said. “It was an eyesore.” 

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