Former McDonald’s building sold to auto parts business

WINTERSVILLE – A Missouri based auto parts store chain has purchased the former McDonald’s store building on Main Street and tentatively plans to demolish the structure in order to build a new O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store.

Mayor Bob Gale said representatives from O’Reilly’s Auto Parts requested and received a parking variance from the village planning commission.

“We are very pleased to see a new business coming to Wintersville and to see this investment by O’Reilly Auto Parts,” said Gale.

“Their parking requirements were two spaces short of the required number, but the planning commission agreed to a variance.”

Mark Merz of O’Reilly Auto Parts said the company, “has the intentions to open a store at that site but we are in the very early stages at this point. Things can change, but I can tell you the store will not open within the next six months. We don’t usually discuss a new store opening until about 90 days before the opening.”

Merz said the average O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store employs from eight to 12 full time and part time workers.

“We currently have 4,166 auto parts store nationwide and 115 stores in Ohio. We don’t sell tires or body parts and we don’t do service. But we offer just about everything else in our stores,” explained Merz.

Merz said the auto parts chain sometimes will demolish an existing building in order to build a structure better suited to their store.

“Sometimes we acquire property, such as the former McDonald’s building and that particular layout doesn’t fit our requirements. So we will take a building down and construct our own facility,” remarked Merz.

The building has sat vacant since the McDonalds business built a new restaurant in front of the Reisbeck’s store.

Property owner Jerry Barilla said McDonald’s had originally approached him about revamping the site when their 30-year lease was coming to an end.

“I was agreeabale to letting them do whatever they felt necessary, but they made the decision to move to the new location and we put our property up for sale,” said Barilla.

The property sold for $330,000.

“My father put together the original deal about 40 years ago to buy that property. There were five houses involved that he had to buy. The original fast food restaurant there was a Borden Burger and when they closed McDonald’s came in and remained there for 30 years before they moved,” recalled Barilla.

The property includes the former McDonald’s building and the parking lot behind the former service station on the corner.

“We sent the building keys to the O’Reilly Auto Parts headquarters a couple of weeks ago. So the property is now in their hands. I am glad we were able to sell the property and am very pleased a new business will be moving into Wintersville,” Barilla said.

The O’Reilly family started the O’Reilly Automotive Corporation in November 1957 with one store and 13 employees at 403 Sherman in Springfield. Their sales totaled $700,000 in 1958, their first full year of business.