A building that once housed the  Irons Food Store in New Holland for some 60 years is slated to be torn down.

"Our plan is to tear down the existing building and construct a new two-story one for the New Holland Eye & Ear that will offer multiple vision and hearing health care services," said Dr. Robert Owens, an American Academy of Optometry Fellow who earned Diplomate level through the American Board of Optometry. He is past president of the Lancaster Optometric Society.

The optometrist and his wife, Vicki, doing business as SCR 406 LLC, recently purchased the property at 406 E. Main St. from Peter Lau and Xue Rong Xu for $272,000.

Owens said that his optometric practice had outgrown its space at 654 E. Main St., Garden Spot Centre.   

The couple was motivated to purchase the property and tear down the building after attending a New Holland Visions town meeting at which business leaders and residents expressed concern for community revitalization and beautification.

"We're pleased to not only aesthetically add to the neighborhood, but more importantly to provide multiple health care services for the convenience of our patients," Vicki Owens said.

She explained that her husband, a graduate of Penn State University and Pennsylvania College of Optometry, began practicing in New Holland with Dr. Albert Wascou in 1980. He purchased the practice at 141 E. Main St. in 1981. Needing to expand, the practice moved in 1989 to its present location.

The new building will provide 11,082-square-feet of space — first floor, 3,804 square feet; second floor, 3,378 square-feet; and ground floor, 3,900 square feet.

Owens anticipates construction will begin in January, with an official opening in early summer.  

"We have reputable associates joining us to provide optometric, ophthalmic, vision rehabilitation/training and audiology services," Owens said.  

Dr. Rob Lauver III, optometrist, is on board to join current practice associates Dr. Zoe Horan, audiologist, and Dr. Pat Tiedeken, ophthalmologist.

Owens plans to add four employees to the current staff, which  includes Dr. Daniel Strybos, optometrist; Vicki Owens, chief financial officer; daughter Sarah Owens, office manager; and April Conde, optical manager.