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Lancaster firm launches division to rehab rundown properties

Tono Group invests in reviving decayed infrastructure

Tono Group's new division, Retro Development, will focus on retrofitting existing infrastructures in cities that have been neglected to exemplify sustainability. Their new headquarters is an example of the division's work. - (Photo / Courtesy of Tono Group / Halkin Mason Photography)

A Lancaster-based company has invested in a business venture designed to revitalize decayed properties throughout the region.

The venture, called Retro Development, is the fourth offshoot created by Tono Group, an architectural firm based in Lancaster city.

Retro – short for retrofit – aims to use sustainable approaches to rehabilitating neglected urban infrastructure.

An example of Retro’s work is Tono’s new headquarters at 436 W. James St. The company’s other divisions are Tono Architects, Proto Construction and Interiors by Deco.

Tono invested $2 million to renovate a 12,000-square-foot building erected in 1944 as a grocery store. Tono refurbished its maple floors and original bowstring timber trusses, and added two steel-framed mezzanines.

The building now houses Tono’s headquarters as well as a wood-burning Italian restaurant, in a space that Tono has leased to Chef Taylor Mason, a proprietor and chef of another downtown restaurant, Ma(i)son.

The restaurant occupies 4,200 square feet. Tono takes up the remaining space.

Tono relocated to James Street from a 3,400-sqaure-foot office in Wheatland Place, which is now occupied by Track5Media.

Tono reports steady growth in its 15 years of business, and this year hired 17 new employees as it prepares to build up its newest venture.

With 25 employees to support its four divisions, the company will continue work on a portfolio of projects in health care, education, retail, commercial, senior living and private residential work.

“Although our core mission remains steadfast to make inspired places, we are evolving to better influence the construction process and deliver the best value to our clients,” Hunter Johnson, managing principle and owner of Tono said.

Lenay Ruhl

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