Luke's Records building sold, signs removed

Luke's Records building sold, signs removed

Luke Renchan, owner of the former Luke's Record Exchange, with the signs that came down from his former building on Broadway in Pawtucket after it was sold in April.

PAWTUCKET - The building that previously housed one of the last operating record stores in Rhode Island was sold and the signs that once welcomed customers to peruse "olde and new" records and tapes were taken down in April.

Luke Renchan, who first opened Luke's Record Exchange 35 years ago, shut it down back in 2010 as rapid changes in technology and music continued to cut into his profits.

After spending the past four years maintaining the property and liquidating merchandise, it was a "sad day" that saw the building at 393 Broadway finally sell, said Renchan, who has found a second successful career as a DJ with his company Luke Renchan Entertainment.

"Had a lot of fun digging for hidden gems in that store," posted one friend of Renchan's in response to his announcement of the sale on Facebook. "Best of luck to you and family."

Renchan said he is unsure whether he will keep the old yellow Luke's signs or donate or sell them. He is planning to continue downsizing and organizing what is still a large collection of records, CDs, and cassette tapes. Most everything will be sold by the end of 2014, he said, auctioned off online, in yard sales and through private showings.

Renchan said he sold his building to Jose Lorenzo, who is planning various improvements to the building and will bring in new tenants to make it an "asset to the community."

Much of his collection was sold as part of a flea market he set up after closing Luke's, said Renchan. He sold another lot of items to the only shop that occupied the building after Luke's shut down, The What Not Shoppe, which he said closed about two months ago.

Renchan said he doesn't plan to keep selling leftover merchandise beyond the end of the year.

"I'll like to say my collecting had bordered on hoarding, and I joke around and call myself a recovering hoarder," he told The Breeze.

Anything not sold as part of these last few months of selling will be donated to secondhand stores like Savers and the Salvation Army or given away, said Renchan.