OTTAWA — Dr. Tony Morman kept driving past the abandoned storefront along state Route 65 in Ottawa and thinking about how much more it could be.
Once home to a Clyde Evans IGA, a Dave’s Markets and most recently a Family Dollar, the building at 932 N. Perry St. sat vacant for years while Morman Family Chiropractic outgrew its space farther north up the road. After years of “pestering” the former owners of the building, Morman said, it was time for his dream to take hold after Morman Enterprises LLC bought the building in November 2018.
“I think a big part of that goes back to being from here,” Morman said. “I graduated from Ottawa-Glandorf, and I take a lot of pride in this community. It really felt like a really fun project, and it’s nice to be able to say I helped renovate this part of town. So that was a big part of what drove me.”
Morman Family Chiropractic showed off the renovated facility Thursday night with a ribbon-cutting with the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce.
From a stone facade on the outside to an inviting lobby with couches and a fireplace that mimics an upscale hotel, it’s safe to say no one will mistake the renovated building for an old grocery store. It’s also practical, with six rooms set up to make adjustments with sliding doors, four consultation rooms and three massage rooms. It still leaves room for the business, which recently hired its third doctor, more opportunities to expand in the future.
It’s a big step for Morman, who started his practice in a room at Northwest Physical Therapy and continued to grow.
“The joke amongst us is that I started in a little closet with a curtain, and then eventually moved into a slightly bigger suite next to their gym there. That was about 1,500 square feet,” Morman said.
The new facility has 5,500 square feet. There are also two other suites, a 1,650-square foot one he already has a business interested in and a 1,600-square foot that remains available.
Morman marveled at the quality craftsmanship of Putnam County companies, from the plans of the renovation by Technicon Design Group in Ottawa to the construction work by Kuhlman Builders. There were some family touches too, with his sister, Amanda, working as an interior designer on the project. He and his father selected an old barn beam that sits above the fireplace in the middle of the lobby, with the two of them using an old two-man saw to cut it to fit.
Overall, Morman is thrilled with how it turned out.
“I had a lot of mentors, and I had Kuhlman Builders to really thank for giving me peace of mind during a really stressful time,” he said. “First it was the vision, and then it’s the pride that pulls you through it.”