W&J purchases East Chestnut Street building

Michael Bradwell
Observe Reporter

Washington & Jefferson College has purchased the O’Reilly Auto Parts building in the city, according to information provided by the county’s recorder of deeds office.

The college purchased the building at 57 E. Chestnut St., which for many years prior to O’Reilly was operated as Auto Supermarket, for $512,500 from Eagle Holdings LLP of Uniontown.

Dennis McMaster, vice president for business and finance and chief financial officer at W&J, confirmed the purchase Wednesday, stating the college plans to use the 19,000-square-foot building for warehouse space.

“O’Reilly will continue to occupy the building” until it completes construction of its new store on Jefferson Avenue, McMaster said. He said the retailer expects to relocate to its new building within the next 90 days.

The East Chestnut Street property, which has a footprint of just under an acre, is adjacent to a parking lot owned by the college at the corner of East Chestnut and College streets.

McMaster said the college will make some minor repairs and maintain the building and its lot.

“We don’t like to see vacant buildings near the campus or in the city. We want to try to improve the college as well as the city,” he said, adding the college didn’t have the structure on its acquisition radar prior to the transaction.

“The owner approached us, we didn’t approach them,” he said, adding the college “can always use warehouse space.”