Pile Hardware, also on the West Side, is another business built on service. "I wouldn't be surprised if they sell more lawnmowers in the valley than anyone else," Coles said. "And if they don't have it you don't need it."
"Big box stores have been in the area for 30 years," Coles said. "When they advertised kitchens, it helped us. This is not a big factor in our decision.
"The West Side's been great for us. I think the things that have gone on, it's everywhere," he said, alluding to crime. "Ninety-nine percent is drug related. If you're not out walking the streets all hours of the night, you're probably OK."
Coles said the only problem he's experienced in the last 20 years occurred some time ago when a woman and her boyfriend found an open door after hours, went to the office, found his name and phone number, and called him.
"She said they were looking for a warm place to stay," Coles recalled. "I called the police and we all met at the store. The police took them to Cutlips Motor Inn and I paid the bill. I appreciated her honesty."
Save Supply was established at 19 Hale St., downtown. When that location was destroyed by fire in 1943, the company moved to 22 Summers St., then to 514 Virginia St. E. The business was consolidated on Park Avenue in 1974.
Coles has not advertised the store closing. "It's all been by word of mouth," he said. "We have so many wonderful customers. We've had ladies come in here, crying. I've sold kitchens or bathrooms to some customers three or four times when they've either moved or decided it was 40 years old, replace it."
Save Supply's slogan is, "We can't save you money, if you don't come and see us."
Coles said the store started a 30-percent-off sale in July. "We intended it to be a warehouse clearance sale," but it was so well received it has continued. "We still have a few kitchen cabinets, probably eight to 10 vanities and a lot of cultured marble vanity tops," he said. "They're marked down below cost."
Asked what he will do following the auction, Coles said, "I have a little farm in Cross Lanes." Also, "After more than 50 years in this business, it might be fun to do something else."
Coles had an airplane for more than 30 years. "I sold it last year," he said. "I miss flying but I don't miss owning a plane."
The Oct. 10 property auction will occur on site. The minimum bid is $325,000.
Goldman Associates' auctioneer and broker Jay Goldman said, "It is a unique piece of property that's not been available for sale for a 100 years, except for these owners. For a contractor who wants on-site storage, a shop, an office and salesroom, it would work well. If a contractor doesn't need it all, he could be a landlord and provide some additional services.
"If you think about it that way, you would be spending less than $10 a square foot for the building or the land," Goldman said. "Somebody's going to get a good deal. The property is on Park Avenue, a main cross street, with a stoplight on Central and Washington, and access from Breece Street."
Prospective buyers can arrange an inspection of the property by calling Goldman at 304-343-5695 for an appointment.
Contact writer George Hohmann at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.