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January 20, 2020

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Bluffton couple purchases Richard Boehr block

Liz and Bob Gordon-Hancock: “We want to invest and become involved in the community"

A Bluffton couple, Bob and Elizabeth Gordon-Hancock, have purchased the Richard Boehr block, which includes apartments, office and business space on the corner of Main and Vine streets. The transaction took place in mid-December.

The building's front address is 125 N. Main St. The building stretches all along the north side of Vine Street and includes the addresses of 105,107 and 111 Vine St. 

The building has three residential upstairs apartments, three office units and a front retail space, currently unoccupied, which at one time housed First National Bank of Bluffton.

Currently, Creating Hope Counselling resides in 105 Vine St. Fresh Modern Fabrics uses 103 1/2 Vine St. (second floor). A series of offices at 111 Vine St. are currently unoccupied. Stoney’s Barbershop, one of only two remaining barbershops in Ohio located on a lower level, is housed below 125 N. Main St.

“Our ideal for this storefront corner is for a new retail business to come to town and boost local shopping opportunities for Bluffton, especially something open after 5 p.m.” said the couple.

“It’s a beautiful building with a unique history,” said Bob. “We want to invest and become involved in the community,” he added, as a reason for making the building purchase.

 Liz said, "Bluffton is not like other small Midwestern towns: it has a thriving downtown, a stellar school system, and a community that supports local entrepreneurs and community-minded projects."  

The Gordon-Hancocks said that the 125 N. Main St. storefront, formerly housing Bluffton Karate Studio, is available for rent. With large display windows facing Main and Vine, that storefront has 1,140 square feet available, ideal for retail.

The couple purchased the building under the business name FGHG LLC, which is solely owned by Liz, but operated jointly.

Although Liz grew up in Bluffton, graduating from Bluffton HS in 2000 and from Ohio Northern University with a degree in English literature in 2004, Bob is a transplant from England.

The couple lived in England for 10 1/2 years, moving back to Bluffton in January of 2016. They have three children, Alenah, 8, Isla, 6, and Elliot, 2.

Bob graduated from King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford, U.K., in 1999, and the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London in 2002, with a bachelor’s degree in social anthropology. 

He then started on a graduate training scheme with Lloyds TSB Bank, and worked there until 2009, when he started with First Data Corporation in the U.K.  

Since 2013, he has worked as a database architect for Allied Irish Bank Merchant Services, based in Dublin, Ireland, a job he continues as he works from Bluffton. 

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