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Rome’s first cell phone store up for sale

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The home of Rome’s first cell phone company is for sale. Advanced Communications at 300 N. Fifth Ave. is an ideal retail location, owner Thom Holt said.

“It’s hard to be more centrally located,” Holt said. “You can go five different directions – north, south, east, west or toward downtown – and be anywhere in five minutes.”

Holt opened the store in the late 1980s, back when cell phones were installed in cars, not carried in purses or holstered to a belt. “That was cutting edge back then,” Holt said.

It was the first mobile phone company outside Interstate 285, he said.

“We were the BellSouth agent,” Holt said. “There were not retail stores. Now they want you to go to a retail store, not an agent.”

After AT&T didn’t renew his contract about a year ago, Holt had more space than he needed.

But it took real estate agent DebraMcDaniel of Toles, Temple & Wright to persuade him to sell the building, Holt said.

McDaniel listed the building for $300,000.

“I figured I would get some liquid assets instead of hard assets,” Holt said. He said when the building sells, he’ll move into one of three smaller properties he owns on Avenue A.