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Good exposure

Small space offers opportunity for right tenant

Location is everything when it comes to setting up a business.

And Ralph Kelley thinks he has a good one for someone who makes their own products to sell.

The small storefront at 106 South Third Street is near the intersection with Center Street, giving the location access to lots of on-street parking.

The shop had been a beauty shop for years and was most recently a tattoo shop.

“It’s an older building but it’s been well taken care of,” said Sam Heighton, the executive director of Ironton aLive, an organization dedicated to bringing commercial development to Ironton. “The owner is on site very often.”

That was evident with cans of paint used to recently repaint the walls.

Kelley said a recent article in The Tribune about Ohio Furnace Beard Company and its owner Ryan Klaiber “really thrilled me to see handcrafted items are, hopefully, on the way back.”

He said the fact that someone around here was making their own line of goods was exciting.

“It triggered my excitement to see the grit of somewhat like the early Americans must have had, naturally with the help of God, to build their own businesses and make their own living with their own ingenuity,” he said. “I’d like to see that again.”

Kelley said he was hoping to find a tenant that makes their own products because he wants to have a store like that in downtown Ironton.

“Or even a little apothecary pharmacy,” Kelley said, and with a laugh added, “If push comes to show, I may even open one up myself because a pharmacy is fine and this is a good location.”

And he could. For years, he operated Kelley Meds out of the next-door building that now houses Edward Jones Investments.

Kelley said there are enough people walking in Ironton to support a business.

“With the foot traffic we have, we have more than our share,” he said. “Sam Heighton is trying to get people to live in downtown so we’ll have more foot traffic to boost local businesses. I know

I’m prejudiced but this is one of the better buildings in the heart of downtown. It’s next to Center Street which is the center of our town.”

Kelley said he believes that Ironton is definitely on its way back “and if Sam keeps pushing the way he’s been pushing, it will get back sooner than the average citizen would think.”

The building is around 100 years old.

“It’s one of the older buildings in town but it has been well kept,” Heighton said.

The building is a single room that is about 20 by 40-foot space, with a bathroom and a small storage space on the right side.

Kelley said the strongest feature is the two giant windows with facing the street.

“It has excellent exposure as you can see for people walking by,” he said. “If someone in the hand craft field would rent this, it would be a great way to display their goods, for people to look out and admire.”

He said its perfect for someone looking to expand out of their home into a business front.

“This would be the kind of place to look for, it’s a small place but it gives you an address and place for people to walk into,” Kelley said. “It’s got a lot to offer.”