Historic building becomes new office for local marketing firm

Altitude Marketing, now in its 15th year in business, had been renting office space in several spots in Emmaus before buying the former Wentz Hardware store, a more than 100 year-old-building at 225 Main St. in Emmaus.

The closure of the hardware store, in business since 1943, left an opening for Altitude Marketing, which had been seeking a new home. The firm paid $530,000 for the property

“When we outgrew our space, we really wanted to stay in Emmaus,” said Gwen Shields, COO of Altitude Marketing. “We’ve just been tied to the community for a long time.”

Shields said the partners of Altitude Marketing wanted to find an office within walking distance of more amenities.

The firm’s previous location, a 5,000 square foot office at 417 State Road in Emmaus, was on a busy stretch of the Lehigh Auto Mile between a used car lot and Acura dealer.

Its new office space has about 6,500 square feet, two apartments on the second floor, plus a basement for storage. And it is near dozens of restaurants, plus it features ample parking and rental income from the apartment units.

“It had everything we were looking for,” Shields said.

The building’s previous owners had started renovating the apartments, and Shields said Altitude Marketing finished that project with the help of Contractor Solutions.

The two units, now occupied, leased quickly, she added.

To renovate office space on the main floor, Shields said her company used Jerdon Construction of Upper Macungie Township, with costs closer to $650,000.

Embassy Bank of the Lehigh Valley financed the office renovations, Shields said.

The renovated office better reflects the company’s preferred environment, offering modern amenities in a space with an older feel, she said.

“It was a complete demolition of the main floor,” said Ron Jerdon, president of Jerdon Construction. “We did the design/build and put plans together for collaborative, open space. We tried to capture the historic aspects of the site.”

When the construction workers opened the walls, they preserved some of the materials they found such as arched windows, he said. Workers also left many of the brick walls intact and left wood beams exposed in the ceiling.

Jerdon Construction also completed some exterior work as well, including installation of a new roof and a ramp to make the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he said.

Altitude Marketing worked with the late Will Dohe, principal-in-charge of R&D Architecture of Easton on the design for the space. Dohe died in November. Ryan Welty, a project architect with the firm, completed the work for the project, Jerdon said.