A vacant landmark building in Berks County has a new life. Baldwin Hardware closed in 2011, taking about 159 jobs with it, but the 50-year-old building and its 28 acres soon will become a Tom Masano Auto Group dealership, bringing with it new jobs for Berks County.
The Reading auto group bought the 250,000 square-foot facility and will develop it into its newest auto in the 800 block of East Wyomissing Boulevard in the city, and the group held a ribbon cutting on Friday at the site to celebrate the company’s new venture.
“This new dealership is the mark of a new chapter in the Masano Auto Group history and for the brands we sell,” John Masano said.
The facility will have an outdoor 600-car lot and an indoor showroom with 400 cars and trucks from five brands.
The facility will be the corporate headquarters for 45 personnel. It will house a 20-bay repair shop with an eight-station car wash and 25-car bay collision facility and include a Wi-Fi lounge and children’s theater and offer brick-oven pizza.
“It’s great that Tom is doing such a major revitalization of the facility,” said Jon Scott, president and CEO of Greater Reading Economic Partnership.
Baldwin was founded in 1946 by the late Severin Fayerman – and named Baldwin Brass – a manufacturer of high-end decorative brass. In 1982, Masco Corp. bought it, selling it in 2003 to Stanley Black & Decker – becoming Baldwin Hardware – before closing in 2011.
The Tom Masano Auto Group owns a nearby Mercedes-Benz and BMW dealership on Lancaster Avenue in Reading, a Ford/Lincoln dealership on Lancaster Avenue in Shillington and Mazda and Mitsubishi dealerships on Route 61 in Muhlenberg Township.
“It’s very positive … ,” Scott said of the soon-to-be dealership. “And it certainly has potential on adding jobs and keeping things moving positively ahead with the community.”