A Reading native is doing his part to help revitalize the city’s downtown.

John P. Weidenhammer, president of Wyomissing-based Weidenhammer Systems Corp., recently purchased, through his company, 503 Penn St. and is planning a major renovation project. Plans call for retail space – likely a restaurant – on the first floor and office space on the second, third and fourth floors that would be used by his company.

Weidenhammer, a 1967 graduate of Reading High School, said he has a keen interest in seeing downtown Reading revitalized.

“If we as a company and I as an individual can help that process, I’m certainly interested in doing that,” he said.

Weidenhammer bought the four-story building in March for $250,000 from Michael B. Mumma, according to county records. The building was constructed in 1894.

Permits have already been secured for demolition inside the building, and the city’s Historical Architectural Review Board has issued a certificate of appropriateness for exterior work on the front and rear of the building, which is now vacant. Demolition should begin any day, and the project is slated to be completed in the first half of 2017, said Kress Schwartz, a director at Weidenhammer.

A distillery or a brewpub is being considered for the first floor, but no decisions have been made, Schwartz said.

“Those are things that are on the table,” he said. “We’re literally just starting construction. While there’s some ideas on the blackboard, it’s chalk and there’s an eraser.”

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