Walgreens still looking at Jackson?

Monday, March 6, 2006

It's no secret in Jackson that Walgreens for some time had been scouting locations to build a new store there. But it's not clear whether the food and drugstore giant is still looking today.

I called the Cape Girardeau Walgreens and -- before I identified myself -- asked the person who answered the phone if there were still plans to build a Walgreens in Jackson.

"They were," the person said. "But they couldn't find a spot over there."

Then I told them I was a reporter and the guy called for the manager, who directed me to corporate communications office in some faraway place. (That tends to be how it works.)

One source said that, for a time, Walgreens was interested in at least one spot on the south side of East Jackson Boulevard, but then the company decided it wanted to be on the north side -- the "going home" side of the street for the many Jackson residents who work in Cape Girardeau. I've heard Walgreens had even looked at a spot near Country Mart.

Jackson Chamber of Commerce president Mary Beth Williams said she knows that Walgreens has been looking in the past.

"They've really been looking for years," she said. "But I haven't heard anything recently."

She said she would think that Walgreens would be a good addition to Jackson. "It's a great company," she said. "But we do have lots of good drugstores in Jackson already."

Others tell me that it's possible that Walgreens was looking but has since put its Jackson plans on hold.

"They thought about it, but they can't find the right spot," said a source in the know. "They may have put it on the back burner for now."

Walgreens spokeswoman Carol Hively said the company no plans right now to build a Walgreens in Jackson.

"So either we're still in the very early stages of looking or it's just a rumor," she said.

Thanks for clearing that up.

* Scotty's Pizza to open in Town Plaza: If you think pizza and hand-dipped ice cream are an unusual combination, you haven't been around any 5-year-olds lately. My daughter, Hannah, will go ga-ga over Scotty's Pizza and Hand-Dipped Ice Cream -- if it's any good and, frankly, probably even if it isn't.

Owner Scott McClellan says his new restaurant will open sometime around Friday at 2007 Independence St., in the former home of Sun Loan building in Cape Girardeau's Town Plaza. That, you may recall, is the building that burned down. McClellan said it's been remodeled.

The pizzas will be prepackaged -- McClellan compared them to Papa Murphy's -- but went on to say that he's going to bake the pizzas there in the store.

McClellan, a truck driver originally from Pulaski County, said he's run such a business before in other areas. When he moved to the Cape Girardeau area three years ago, he wanted to do it again.

"It's always been in my soul," he said. "I finally found this place and it caught my eye."

If nothing else, he's already caught the attention of every parent in a 100-mile radius.

* Rufus Mudsucker's new tenant: The old Rufus Mudsucker's building -- it has also been Indigo, Our House and Papa Bears, too -- at 2 N. Main St. in downtown Cape Girardeau has a new tenant.

Ed Radetic, who owns the Royal N'Orleans and the Dairy Queen on Sprigg Street and in Jackson, has leased the building from owner Phil Brinson. Radetic said he's still working on some of the specifics, it will be a restaurant and a bar. An opening date is still six to eight weeks away he said.

* Joey's Seafood opens today: You may have read about it first in my column last November, but Joey's is opening today. Many of you may remember the owners, Steve and Catherine Mills, from their time as owners of the Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in Cape Girardeau.

But they sold that business and obtained a franchise agreement to open a Joey's at 155 Siemers Drive, Suite 8. It's in the same building, Lambert Plaza, as the new David's Bridal.

Joey's is described as "fast casual" and is occupying 3,200 square feet on the north end of the center.

* Aflac to relocate district office: The Eagle Peak office building located at 760 S. Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau will house one of the Aflac District Offices for the Southeast Missouri region. Tom Kelsey, commercial broker with Lorimont Place Ltd., who handled the lease transaction, said the Fortune 500 company is scheduled to occupy its new offices sometime this month. Joe Pupek, Aflac's district sales coordinator, will head the local group.

Kelsey said the relocated sales office would be in Suite M on the south side of the 45,000-square-foot multitenant Eagle Peak building currently occupied by nine other businesses. He said this space was formerly leased by the State of Missouri's Workforce agency that has now moved into the Marquette Towers building downtown.

* Property by Wendy's in Jackson: Norvol Randol Jr. is still in conversations with interested parties about the nearly two-acre tract he owns in Jackson to the east of Wendy's.

"Nothing's happened," he said. "But it could be anything. It could be retail, it could be a restaurant, or an office. Anything could fit there."

And he doesn't know how long it will be until there are agreements reached.

"In the world of commercial real estate, it may be tomorrow, it may be six months," he said.

* Sunny Hill changing focus: Sunny Hill Pet Center owner Bill Brinkopf said the store at 335 Christine in Cape Girardeau is about to undergo a make-over. Brinkopf said the store is converting to an "aquatics-only" kind of format. In other words, the store will sell freshwater fish, saltwater fish, goldfish and reptiles.

"We're basically getting rid of the dogs, cats, birds and small animals," he said.

There will be a "store remodeling" sale through this month, he said. Then the store will close for a time while it undergoes a major overhaul. Then it will open again in the summer with a variation on the same name.

* LoDo's closed: LoDo's, the martini bar that had been in Marquette Towers on Broadway closed late last month. Thomas M. Meyer, who handles the leasing for the Marquette, tells me that LoDo's closed because "there was a tenant/landlord communication situation." He said that's all he could share.

He also said conversations have already started with a possible new tenant for a "similar-type" business.

Scott Moyers is the business editor of the Southeast Missourian. Send your comments, business news, information or questions to "Biz Buzz," 301 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63702-0699, or e-mail them to smoyers@semissourian.com or call (573) 335-6611, extension 137.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: