The northeast corner of Kingshighway and Bloomfield is getting a new identity and a new look -- including a new bank branch, a tax service business and an Aaron's Sales and Lease rent-to-own store.
It's going to be called Bloomfield Crossing, and construction has already begun on a new 4,800-square-foot building in the vicinity of Room Mates and Siemer's appliances.
Once the building is done -- February at the latest -- a bank will open a branch in two-thirds of the building and a tax service business will occupy the rest of the space, said Tim Blattner, whose family has owned the property for years.
Blattner said announcements about which bank and tax service will be made this week, though he did say the branch is of a bank that already exists in Cape Girardeau. (I wonder if "First" is somewhere in its name.)
A new tenant also has been lined up for the building that used to house Hancock's Fabrics on that corner. Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership is the nation's largest leader in the rental, sales and lease ownership businesses, as well as a specialty retailer of residential and office furniture, electronics and home appliances. Aaron's is set to open in November or December, Blattner said.
Signs will also go up identifying the corner as Bloomfield Crossing.
"We're upgrading the area," Blattner said last week. "We're going to give it an identity. With the new bridge opening, it's strategically located for the visitors from Illinois and the south."
The corner is about a half-mile from the new bridge route, which is set to open in December.
Kelly Services relocates
Kelly Services Inc., a human resources corporation, will relocate its Southeast Missouri office to Shawnee Center in Cape Girardeau.
Tom Kelsey, commercial broker with Lorimont Place Ltd., who handled the leasing transaction, said the company's new offices are being finished at the new 27,900-square-foot retail and office development at Highway 74 and Silver Springs Road.
Kelly is a Fortune 500 company based in Troy, Mich., offering human resources solutions that include temporary services, staff leasing, outsourcing and full-time placement.
Kelsey said the company had outgrown its present operations office at 1021 Kingsway in Cape Girardeau, which opened in 1999, and needed larger quarters. The Shawnee Center location was appealing for its proximity to Interstate 55 because the company covers all of Southeast Missouri.
Teresha Weinkein is the manager of the regional office.
Kelly has 2,400 offices in 26 countries and provides to its customers nearly 700,000 employees annually, with skills including office services, accounting, engineering, information technology, law, science, marketing, light industrial, education and health care. Sales in 2002 were $4.1 billion.
The newest Shawnee Center business will join Station West, Q-Audio & Video and River City Imaging at the West Cape development. Kelsey said they are also working with several other leasing prospects for space at the center that is currently 56 percent occupied. He said the development is being marketed to office, retail, restaurant and service-oriented businesses.
Bank opens today
Construction is now complete for the new First Community Bank at the southwest corner of South Mount Auburn Road and Independence in Cape Girardeau.
The bank is set to open at 8:30 a.m. today. According to bank president Steve Green, the new bank is 7,300 square feet and offers full-service commercial banking, including drive-up service and a 24-hour ATM.
Green has 16 years of banking experience in the Cape Girardeau Community.
Other bank officers are Roger Suedekum, vice president and real estate loan specialist, and James Childress, consumer loan officer. Other employees are Pat Englehart, Pam Bryant, Martha Hartmann, Melissa Cherry, Tammy Diveley, Suzan Moore and Michelle Wallace.
The bank will open with 10 total employees, all recruited from the Cape Girardeau area.
Second Diamond location
Diamond Wireless is set to open its second Cape Girardeau location at the Town Plaza next to Hastings. Local businessmen Sean Simon and David Creech opened the first store at the mall in July.
Diamond Wireless bills itself as the region's only retailer of T-mobile products and services. In addition to carrying T-mobile, Diamond also carries the full line of Verizon Wireless, including the new push-to-talk technology that enables users to use their mobile phones as an uninterrupted two-way communication device.
"What's neat about our business is we are able to offer our customers choices and focus more on their needs by carrying multiple cellular providers," Simon said. Plans for the third area store are in the works as well as five stores in the St. Louis area.
Deal with Rams
Soskin Cape Toyota/Mitsubishi has been selected by the St. Louis Rams to provide vehicles to Rams executive personnel, including radio announcer Jack Snow, for the 2003 season. The marketing agreement allows the Rams the use of new Toyota and Mitsubishi vehicles from Soskin Cape Toyota/Mitsubishi.
"It is a privilege and an honor to be affiliated with the St. Louis Rams organization," said Alan Soskin, president and owner of Soskin Cape Toyota. "The employees of this dealership are huge Rams fans and are extremely excited."
Rams senior vice president Bob Wallace will be in Cape Girardeau Wednesday to be a guest speaker at the Lions Club luncheon.
Stroke Prevention Plus
Cape Girardeau native Randy Schemel is heading up the new Missouri operations of Stroke Prevention Plus, a mobile screening company that offers screenings for stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysms, peripheral vascular disease and osteoporosis.
Schemel, who is likely to live in Jackson, said the first screening will be Wednesday in Cape Girardeau and Saturday in Jackson. Schemel said he worked for the company in Houston before moving back here to head up operations.
The mobile unit will travel to most Missouri cities, but Schemel said it will be in the Cape Girardeau-Jackson area every six months.
New photography business
Emily Terry has started her own photography business called On Location Portraits. Terry says she primarily shoots weddings but will also take pictures of children, senior portraits, dances and parties.
Terry was a veterinary tech for 12 years at various vet clinics in Southeast Missouri. Now she wants to take photos full time.
"I took a photography class in high school and have been involved with it ever since over the past 10 years," she said. "When I wasn't working a regular job, that's all I did. It's where my heart is, it's where my gifts are."
Terry -- soon to be Emily Pratt after an upcoming wedding -- says she spends a good deal of time researching her subjects before she even pulls her camera out.
"I get to know the bride and groom," she said. "I do multiple consultations with them. I meet their parents. I go to the church, rehearsals, everything."
Scott Moyers is the business editor for the Southeast Missourian. Send your comments, business news, information or questions to Biz Buzz, 301 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63702-0699, e-mail email@example.com or call 335-6611, extension 137.