Hereford businesses move into new spaces

Dentist Craig Longenecker, left, and Kathy Wheatley, president of Wheatley and Associates remodeling contractors, stand Sept. 7 in a section of the historic Price-Akehurst House that will be the waiting room for Longenecker's new practice. Wheatley's company was already located in the building and will remain as a tenant. (Photo by Steve Ruark, Patuxent Publishing / September 21, 2012)

Two businesses along York Road are doing the Hereford Hopscotch.

Dentist Craig Longenecker is moving out of rented office space into his own building. And Theaux LeGardeur's fly-fishing shop that was in the building Longenecker bought has moved next door to a space last rented by a farmers market.

Longenecker's new dental practice, Hereford Dental Health, will open this fall. He has added three treatment rooms and a laboratory to the rear of the building.

"It's the same number of treatment rooms as I had before, but there's a lot more space," he said.


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He was in a rented office for 14 years at the McInnes Centre building slightly south on York Road. "It was always my dream to have my own office."

He recently bought the building at the intersection of Monkton and York roads. It is a historic house known as the Price-Akehurst house, built in 1876. Kathy and Gary Wheatley, of Wheatley Associates, a residential remodeling firm, bought the house and renovated it in 2004. It became their offices and showroom.

After Gary Wheatley, 49, died in 2007 of a heart attack while scuba diving in Florida, Kathy Wheatley continued to run the business in the building. But she rented the front section of the first floor to LeGardeur's fly-fishing shop, Backwater Angler.

She also rented much of the second floor to Chris Martin's business, Absolute Companion Care, which provides home care for the elderly.

Both Wheatley Associates and Absolute Companion Care will continue to operate their businesses there while Longenecker uses the remainder of the building.

"Gary has been gone five years and I was ready to make some changes," Kathy Wheatley said. "Craig is my dentist and we managed to do the sale without realtors. I'm excited that he's moving in because he really appreciates the quality workmanship that went into the restoration."

When crews tore down the first-floor plaster walls during renovation for the Wheatleys, they discovered rough-hewn chestnut logs. The logs were in good enough condition that they were left exposed.

Those walls are still the showpiece of the building and Longenecker will make that front room his waiting room.

But that left Backwater Angler without a home. LeGardeur said he was lucky to be able to move his fly-fishing shop right next door.

"It's been a fantastic move," he said. "We wheelbarrowed everything 75 feet to the new spot."

LeGardeur said his new space is slightly bigger, has more parking and gets a lot of traffic from people visiting the nearby snowball stand. At one point, it was home to Hereford Seafood. In fact, LeGardeur said a customer came in recently and ordered a shrimp salad sandwich. He said he politely informed the customer that his business was catching and releasing fish, not eating them.

"This is my third move in 11 years, but it's worked out," he said. His first location was on Monkton Road after he bought the On the Fly shop from Wally Vait.

Several other Hereford moves include attorney Kathleen Rus who moved from a home office in Parkton into the Norris building at 17010 York Road.

And Dr. Robert Gattuso has moved his family practice from the second floor of Hereford Center, above the Hereford Library, to the adjacent Hereford Plaza.