Voigt Music Center, seen here in 2015, announced Saturday it will leave downtown by year's end and move to the northwest side of Janesville.


Voigt Music Center is moving its downtown store to the city’s northwest side at the end of the year, according to a Saturday news release.

Voigt has been in the bottom floor of The Venue building, 34 and 38 S. Main St., for about four years. The spacious quarters include a community performance room.

Voigt will take over Hatfield Guitar and Repair, W2152 Highway 14, as owner Bill Hatfield is retiring, according to the release.

Voigt plans on ending downtown operations Dec. 31 and opening in the new location Jan. 2.

Events in their community room will go ahead as scheduled through the end of December.

Tony Farrell Jr., Voigt owner and president, said a change in Voigt’s business model is the reason for the move.

“Due to a continued increase in online competition in the guitar, keyboard, drum, and sound-reinforcement markets, we have decided to refocus the business to specialize in what has been our cornerstone for the vast majority of our 80 years in business, which is catering to student musicians and music educators in the 25-plus area school districts we serve every week,” Farrell said in the release.

“By specializing in the band and orchestra business, it will allow us to expand and improve our products and services to this important market segment, and be the very best at what we are most passionate about, which is helping bring music education to children,” Farrell said.

Farrell continued: “The downtown is really starting to blossom, and we are grateful to have been a part of the renaissance for the last four years. At the end of the day, however, we simply don’t require a space this large for our new business model.”

Farrell thanked customers and especially the Grafft family for “creating such a stunningly beautiful space for us, which exceeded all expectations.”

The Grafft family owns and has renovated the 150-year-old building. Britten Langfoss, Jim and Heidi Grafft’s daughter, operates The Venue event hall in the upper floors. The building’s exterior is now being renovated.