FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A local property investor has breathed new life into Smoky’s Records on Wells Street, which gathered dust for more than a decade after the 2006 death of Charles “Smoky” Montgomery.
The retail space on the main level has been whiteboxed for a new owner to customize while the upstairs has been turned residential with two bedrooms and two full baths.
“I love to invest in properties like this and bring them back to life so somebody else can utilize them,” said Cheri Toscos with Toscos Properties. “Maybe 100 years from now, people will be interviewing them because it’s become something really nostalgic that they loved.”
Many Fort Wayne natives recall buying their first 45s at Smoky’s. The amount of sentiment left Toscos a bit overwhelmed after she bought it in 2021.
“Honestly, it took me by surprise. When I purchased the building, I had no idea how many people would reach out and thank me for buying it. I would see posts all the time of people peeking in the window wondering what’s happening in there.”
A number of people have also wanted to buy just the sign.
“I haven’t taken it down because a lot of people really had a connection to Smoky’s,” Toscos said. “I have left it there intentionally because I want it to be grandfathered in for the next person who purchases the building. Once I take that down the new codes come into effect so they would not be able to hang it over the sidewalk.”
Toscos would not be surprised if the building finds a buyer quickly, since she has been flooded with showing appointments.
She said interested buyers should contact Maddox Collective and Patrick Romary at (260) 414-5741.