GARRETT — A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house Tuesday marked the opening of Hosler Realty’s downtown Garrett office.
The Kendallville-based firm purchased and renovated the former Garrett Clinic building at the corner of Keyser and Randolph streets for their Hosler Commercial Inc. and Hosler Realty Inc. divisions.
Co-owner Joe Sells welcomed community leaders and business owners and introduced several Hosler Realty colleagues, family and friends gathered for the occasion Tuesday.
Sells said one of the reasons, probably the main reason, the company chose to come to Garrett was because Mayor Todd Fiandt reached out and sent letters to “everybody” trying to get more businesses in the city. Fiandt suggested Hosler Realty could do something similar in Garrett to what they did in Kendallville’s downtown and asked if they could get together and talk it over.
Sells and co-owner Gregg Pyle met with Fiandt and decided coming to Garrett would be a great relationship. Sells noted it’s very important when moving to a community that the business is supported as much by them as the business wants to support the community — and he had found that in Garrett.
“This is a result of their reaching out to us, not the other way around,” Sells said of Garrett leaders.
Sells said they originally purchased a smaller building on West Keyser Street, just west of the current site, that formerly housed Garrett Chamber of Commerce office. Sells said they decided it really was not a great fit as far as size and currently leases the space to Union Home Mortgage.
Sells said they eyed the larger, nearly 3,000-square-foot, two-story building on the corner of Randolph Street and began collaborating with the Mayor and Mike Tullis with Garrett State Bank, to work out the financing of the historic downtown site.
Sells said Hosler Realty loves to focus on downtowns, and ultimately made the decision to invest in the former Garrett Clinic site that came with considerable cost for both the building and renovation. The building had been vacant for several years and was in a state of disrepair.
“We would be stuck in our (smaller) office if it wasn’t for Garrett State Bank stepping up,” said Sells. “Not only did they finance this job, they care about the community enough they actually funded the $5,000 match through the Downtown Garrett Façade Grant to replace several windows and doors in the building.
“They are putting their money where their mouth is in the communities they serve,” he said of the bank.
Sells also remarked that without his team at Hosler Realty, they would not have “even considered paying this kind of money into a building and renovating it. They are a great team; everyone brings something to the table.”
“We are super excited about you guys coming here and taking this building and doing what you have done with it,” said Fiandt. “You have really given our community a boost. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you,” he said.
Longtime Garrett residents Cherie and Terry Malcolm and Jennifer Streich are associate brokers serving the Garrett office.
City planner Milton Otero shared the services provided by his office at City Hall during introductions.
Sells said the company is also looking at other smaller communities for satellite offices, in addition to sites in Kendallville and Ligonier.
Hosler Realty was founded in 1938 by Charles Hosler. Hosler’s son, Dave Hosler, operated the business for quite a few years until Stephen Pyle and Tony Black purchased the firm in 1989. Dave Hosler continued an appraisal business until his retirement in the late 1990s at which time he sold Hosler Appraisal, a separate business, to Bob Bohde of Kendallville.
In 1992, Stephen Pyle’s brother, Gregg Pyle, joined Hosler Realty as a sales agent, and in 2002, the two brothers became the co-owners after Gregg Pyle purchased Black’s partnership interests. In 2001, the brothers moved the office from its 40-year site on Main Street to the former Kendallville Post Office site at 119 W. Mitchell. Upon the retirement of Stephen Pyle, Joe Sells joined Gregg Pyle as co-owners of Hosler Realty Inc. with an office located at 616 N. Sawyer Road in Kendallville.