Jeremy Vanderhoef brought new hope and earned a round of applause from the members of Rising Sun's Chamber of Commerce last week.
Vanderhoef, of Nottingham, Pa., has invested in the town's future, buying a pair of downtown properties. He bought both the former Western Auto and the neighboring Sun Cellular buildings in the unit block of East Main Street. Both those vacant high profile buildings have long been a concern for town officials.
One of his ideas for developing the property is to house a pub/brewery in the former Western Auto. He said his initial plan included demolition of the Sun Cellular building and using that as additional downtown parking. He said that plan, which would have originally brought as many as a half dozen parking spots, has been reduced to maybe three parking spaces after he conferred with officials from State Highway Administration.
He did say that he now plans that both buildings will get a complete makeover. He plans for outdoor seating or a patio at Western Auto and plans to add a porch to that building.
The Vanderhoef's are part of a construction firm. He said he bought the property a month ago and is excited about the prospects.
He also said he has a friend who may want to buy a neighboring property. He and his wife have both been soliciting input on social media about their plans. Vanderhoef said the feedback has been positive.
He said he has a "lot of big hopes" for the project.
He said he also wants to get more involved in the town and wants to be part of a Main Street revitalization effort.