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Brad Weirich, retail manager at Better World Books, poses for a portrait inside the East Washington Street store Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in Goshen. The store has already sold a good portion of its inventory and is offering 15 percent off used books to prepare for a move around the corner to Main Street beginning May 15. The store will open in its new location July 1. (Truth Photo By Ryan Dorgan) (AP)
Preparations have begun for Goshen business relocations

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on April 25, 2013 at 4:17 p.m.

GOSHEN – The empty shelves lining the west wall of Better World Books are the first signs of its upcoming move to Main Street.

The book store will move into the former Town and County Appliance store at 215 S. Main St., and manager Brad Weirich hopes to open the new location by July 1.

A sign on the door announcing a sale on used books reads “Books are heavy,” highlighting the business’s wish to decrease some of the inventory to move to the Main Street store.

Weirich said Better World Books will take control of the Main Street location on May 15, with a volunteer demolition day to take place three days later.

The demolition day is the beginning of what Weirich expects to be a four- to six-week process of renovating the former appliance store to ready it for business.

Renovations will include knocking down walls, refinishing the floors, painting and finally, moving and setting up the shelving and inventory.

The shelves on the west side of the current Better World Books location have been emptied in anticipation of the building’s new tenants.

Just down the street, Myron Bontrager, owner of the Electric Brew has been getting ready to move into the building Better World Books will be vacating.

The Brew will be moving, despite two rejections of Bontrager’s idea for a drive-through window in the alley by Goshen’s Traffic Commission.

The drive-through window was not a deal-breaker for Bontrager, who said after the most recent meeting of the commission that he has already agreed with building owner Dave Pottinger to occupy the East Washington building.

Regarding the drive-through, Bontrager said, “I just want to be a good neighbor,” explaining that he was simply interested in exploring the possibility.

Bontrager said he would like to have the new location on East Washington Street open by August.

Overall, the preparations of the two businesses are on schedule.

For these businesses to move ahead in their relocation, Town and Country Appliance must be out of the building on Main Street by the time Better World Books takes control.

According to Allan Kauffman, the building’s landlord, owner Henry Herschberger had planned on keeping the Town and Country doors open as long as possible until the business had to move. Recent events, however, have thrown a wrench into that plan.

An orange warning sign has been taped to the door of Town and Country noting a violation of the state tax code.

Kauffman said the Indiana Department of Revenue claims the business had not been paying its sales taxes and shut down the store several days ago.

He added that Herschberger, who could not be reached for comment, plans to meet with the DOR Monday, April 29, and hopes to make a deal that would allow the store to reopen for the last few weeks before having to vacate the building.