Time is right to sell property

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

As many have heard either by word of mouth, or through an article printed in The Smithfield Times, I have agreed to sell the property currently occupied by Gimme Shelter.

The decision to sell was not easy, nor made lightly. In 2007, I purchased the property at the corner of Grace and Main streets after being approached by Mary Crocker, previous owner. The hope and intention at the time was to expand my business, Cofer Auto. With the economy unstable, this plan was paused and the building remained unoccupied until Robin and Peter Knauth founded Gimme Shelter in 2010.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Customers of Cofer, the Knauths and I agreed to rent the building at a reduced lease for their good cause, and to their credit, and that of generous community contributors, improvements have been made through the years. There is no doubt that Gimme Shelter has been charitable to our local community, particularly the animals in need.

With my retirement nearing this spring, the approach by Maynard Gwaltney to purchase the property was at a time when circumstances were ideal for all involved parties. In talking with the Knauths, there was no interest in relocating the thrift store and, like me, they are ready for a slower pace of life.

There is no intention to sell Cofer Auto. The same great service offered for the last 20 years will continue to be offered to fulfill your automotive repair needs. As a part of the historic district, we too, desire to see an investment in our community and for Smithfield to thrive in the years to come.


Thomas Askew