Schiefer Insurance reopens on four corners
Story and photos by Sarah Einselen
The former gas station on the southwest corner of Portland Way and Harding Way just got a facelift. The Galion branch of Chris Schiefer Insurance and Financial Services reopened at its new location Wednesday morning in the building that up until 2005 was the location of a BP gas station. New brickwork and siding on the outside and an entirely renovated interior mask the building’s original function.
Before the remodel, “it truly looked like a 1961 gas station,” said Chris Schiefer, the insurance agent whose branch office moved from Uptowne to the four corners. He described a cement-block building left after the same buyer acquired two gas stations at the same intersection, this one and the current BP.
At one time the building was a Sohio gas station and auto service center. The front entrance door and windows were set into the old auto bay entrance when the gas station ceased doing auto repair/maintenance. “When you moved things you found stickers,” Schiefer said, memorabilia harking back to the building’s former use.
But why move into a gas station? Its draw was the location, Schiefer said, “because there’s 70,000 cars that go through that intersection.” It also provided off-street parking and room for the branch to expand, should it need the space in the future. Three offices, a conference room and a waiting area comprise the sales and customer service space, with one of those offices free for a possible future hire.
Schiefer Insurance held a ribbon cutting and open house at the new location on Wednesday, Oct. 26, to which the 20-year Nationwide Insurance agent invited area business representatives. Schiefer associates Rhonda Molton, Chad Ruhl and Chris Kostelnik will maintain permanent offices in the building, while Schiefer keeps his main office in Tiffin.