One of downtown's oldest businesses will be leaving in May, moving to the 2900 block of New Hartford Road.

Dr. Rob Hamilton, one of the partners in RiverPark EyeCare, said the practice has outgrown its offices at 221 Allen St.

And parking downtown is a problem for patients, he said.

In 2004, the practice faced the same problem. But it had room to expand then.

The old location had 2,400 square feet then.

A single-story L-shaped building constructed on the south side of the office added another 4,500 square feet.

But 15 years later, the practice is again out of room.

"We're landlocked at this location," Hamilton said. "There's no room to expand."

The new location, under construction at 2905 New Hartford Road, will double the space of the downtown offices, he said.

The optometric practice was founded in 1938 by the late Dr. D.D. Heltsley and has been in the same location since 1942.

The practice was called Heltsley, Speer, Schertzinger and Shields.

But it changed its name to RiverPark EyeCare about 1990 when the nearby RiverPark Center was under construction.

Hamilton said the name will probably change again in the future.

"The name doesn't make sense when we're not near the RiverPark Center," he said. "We've thought about a name change, but we'll probably wait a while. Changing the location and the name at the same time might be confusing to people."

Downtown property assessments have been rising rapidly in recent years.

But Hamilton said that wasn't a reason for the move.

"Ours went up 10% this year," he said. "But we've been planning this move for several years."

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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