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Penn State Harrisburg graduate opens Balkan Automotive garage on West Main Street

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 7/13/18

A 2018 Penn State Harrisburg graduate has opened an automotive repair shop at the site of the former Gene’s Service Center and Grove’s Service Center at 210 W. Main St.

Owner Petar …

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Penn State Harrisburg graduate opens Balkan Automotive garage on West Main Street

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A 2018 Penn State Harrisburg graduate has opened an automotive repair shop at the site of the former Gene’s Service Center and Grove’s Service Center at 210 W. Main St.

Owner Petar Georgiev graduated this spring from Penn State Harrisburg and received a degree in mechanical engineering. His shop, Balkan Automotive, officially opened June 1.

This is Georgiev’s first garage, although he said he hopes to eventually open another.

Cars have always been a hobby, Georgiev said. He’s built fast cars, helped other people build cars and loves riding motorcycles. Georgiev said he wanted to try to turn a hobby into a career.

When Georgiev and his family moved to the United States from Bulgaria in 2006, they lived in Middletown for the first couple of years before moving to Hummelstown, where he still lives. Georgiev said he had a family member in Middletown who was willing to sponsor them.

His Bulgarian roots inspired the name of the shop.

“It’s the region we come from,” Georgiev said.

According to Pennsylvania tax records, the shop was sold in late January for $190,000. Georgiev said that since the sale, they have been renovating the shop — repainting the office and putting new floors in.

There are three staff members, including Georgiev. He said Balkan offers numerous services ranging from oil changes to rebuilding engines and transmissions. They can service all makes and models of cars and motorcycles.

“We’ll take anything,” he said.

How did Penn State help prepare him to run his own business? Georgiev said he had to take several general education classes in accounting, economy and business, and his mechanical engineering courses gave him flexibility to be able to work on a variety of vehicles.

Georgiev said business has been going well so far “for not having any advertisements on social media or not even having all of the signs done.”

Technically, the shop is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but Georgiev said that they often work late into the night.

“In case someone needs that roadside emergency or anything,” he said.

So far, they’ve had several people take advantage of their late hours, and stopped in at 9 to 10 p.m.

Georgiev said they typically do not take appointments but accept walk-ins. People can call 717-944-1619 for information.