Building to be sold, but Mr. Bendo isn’t going anywhere

By Rosemary McCoy

The sale of the Buck’s Muffler Shop building is set to close at the end of November, but the business and the landmark Mr. Bendo aren’t going anywhere.

The new owner is buying the property on the southeast corner of 12th Street and Cliff Avenue as an investment and plans to let Buck’s owner Jerry Wallenstein continue to lease half of the site, said Michael Martin, a broker associate at NAI Sioux Falls. The buyer plans to use the remaining area for personal use, Martin said.

Wallenstein’s mother and aunt own the property, Martin said. Wallenstein owns the 18-foot statue, and Mr. Bendo isn’t part of the deal.

“He’s still mine,” Wallenstein said. “I will retire sometime down the road, but nothing is planned yet.”

Any sale of Mr. Bendo would go with the business, and Wallenstein said he’s accepting offers as he nears retirement.

Buck’s Muffler has been in business since 1956, and Wallenstein started working there in 1972. He bought the business and Mr. Bendo 18 years ago.

The fiberglass statue generated headlines and community support when a drunken driver crashed into the building and destroyed Mr. Bendo’s right leg on St. Patrick’s Day in 2010. After spending time in a cast, the leg was repaired.

Building to be sold, but Mr. Bendo isn’t going anywhere

The sale of the Buck’s Muffler Shop building is set to close at the end of November, but the business and the landmark Mr. Bendo aren’t going anywhere.

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