Warren Tire Service Center officially opened the doors to its Whitehall location on Monday after weeks of extensive renovations.
“We’re very happy to be in the area. Everyone who stopped said they were very happy to have us here,” said Don Villa, who is general manager of the company and has worked for Warren Tire for 28 years.
Although Monday was a soft opening and therefore not advertised, Villa said several customers stopped in and employees performed a number of oil changes and tire changes.
A number of employees from neighboring businesses also dropped in to say hello and congratulate the staff on the service center’s opening.
The family-run business, which operates 16 service centers throughout the region and employees 110 people, purchased the building—an old train depot—this spring and began the arduous task of transforming it into a serviceable garage.
Villa said the entire interior of the building was gutted and new tile flooring and sheetrock was installed throughout.
Outside, a new roof was installed, two bays were cut into the building’s façade, and two existing bays were reinforced.
Throughout the entire process, pains were made to adhere to the building’s original character.
“We tried to stay with the original theme of the freight station,” Villa said. “We kept as much brick as was possible and left all the cathedral ceilings throughout. The building has a lot more space than you would think from looking at it from the outside and we were very pleased with the shape it was in structurally.”
The location will be a complete auto service center offering everything from oil changes and inspections to tune-ups and computer diagnostics. And like other branches, the center will carry the company’s full line of tires.
Villa said the Whitehall branch is a strategic one for the company due to its northern location.
“It’s a perfect spot for us. It’s right on the main drag and it’s easy to get in and out of. It’s also a perfect market for our customers who won’t have to drive as far,” he said.
The branch employees four people—one manager, two technicians and a general mechanic.
Villa said the branch will eventually offer tires for commercial trucks as well as roadside service.
The company will celebrate the branch’s opening during a pre-Labor Day sale the week of Aug. 25.