university of redlands water polo Beverly’s Park Street Auto builds new home
BEVERLY A car repair business on Park Street has embarked upon a half year of shuffling its services in satellite locations after tearing it’s century old home down last week.
But the decision to build a new $700,000 headquarters is just the latest change Park Street Auto Repair has committed to so it could stay ahead of fast changing times.
“(The blacksmith) used to put shoes on horses back in the old days,” Jedraszek said. “People would bring down railings and he’d bend them, put them in loops and the things you see today.”
The old business owner died of lung cancer, something Jedraszek speculated was caused by poor ventilation and a buildup of soot.
He opened his auto repair business in 1988. The location was picked purely because it fit the zoning his business needed, he said.
When Jedraszek opened up shop, Beverly resident Verg DePiero was 32 years into owning DePiero’s Exxon on nearby Rantoul Street.
DePiero, 86 years old today, would retire in 1994. But he remained a regular at Jedraszek’s shop to get parts for his own private car repairs.
DePiero brought memories of the past with him on every visit to Park Street, he said.
“There’s been quite a few changes down there,” DePiero said. “There was all kinds of buildings.”
Blacksmiths and machine shops were spread like scatter shot, surrounded by other types of businesses that would never exist today, DePiero said.
“Standley Machine, where it is now, used to be an ice plant,” DePiero said. “They used to make ice and have gas pumps out front, and they delivered oil.”
Park Street Auto also used to deal in gasoline, a decision they moved away from as it became tough to afford, Jedraszek said.
“When you own a gas station, the oil companies control you,” he said. “You spend a lot of money on gas and only make pennies back.”
That’s why most of the gas stations around today are owned by major manufacturers. Independent stations, in many cases, become abandoned in time, Jedraszek said.
“The margins between the gas and the profits in the last 10 years have fallen down to people barely making money,” Jedraszek said. “That’s what they wanted, and that’s what they’ve done. The smaller, independent gas stations will eventually be obsolete.”
After flushing fuel from their business, Park Street Auto added other services state inspections, for example.
The inspections were done in a small building rented next door at 110 Park St., Jedraszek said.
Meanwhile, as time went on, safety started becoming an issue at the headquarters, according to Jedraszek.
With every snowstorm, the roof would show signs of impending collapse. New supports were added last year to keep the building standing through the winter, Jedraszek said.
As spring gave way to summer, Jedraszek and his fiance Jennifer Towler started planning a new building to replace the current one.
The new construction increases the business’ space from 1,800 to 2,500 square feet, which includes a second story for office space. They’re also upgrading from two repair bays to four, and they plan to go up from four employees to six, Jedraszek said.
Once the plans for the new building got approved, the old building came down.
A bulldozer tore through the walls last week, quickly reducing the structure to a pile of mixed building materials and scrap.
It’ll take six to eight months to build the new home, Jedraszek said.
In the meantime, Towler is running all of the company’s paperwork from her and Jedraszek’s home elsewhere in town. The business will do its repair work at neighboring 110 Park St. and an overflow site elsewhere in town, Jedraszek said.