Broadway storefronts to get makeover

Monday, June 14, 2004

Bob and Linda Bohnsack are wearing their hard hats this summer.

Operators of the Garden Gallery at 833 Broadway and owners of much of that block, the Bohnsacks are making some big changes in the neighborhood, specifically on the storefronts of 821 Broadway.

Linda Bohnsack said that entire building will be put under one roof and be made to resemble a shopping village. However, the new facade will incorporate a bit of Cape Girardeau history. The Bohnsacks also owned the Vandeven House, which adjoined the building at 821 Broadway from the rear, and was over 100 years old. They deemed it too far gone to refurbish and tore the house down. However, that house's distinct green tile roofing was salvaged and will be used in the construction of the new 821 Broadway facade. Since the house was connected to the stores at 821 Broadway, the rear of that building is currently being reconstructed.

The absence of the house will also add at least eight more spaces in the parking lot behind the stores on the 800 block. Linda said the project should be complete by the end of the summer, at which time she hopes to fill the units with artists and their studios, as an artist co-op. She spent the end of last week at a conference in Paducah, Ky., on establishing artist relocation programs.

As far as a name for the "village" at 821, it's still in the works.

Westfield sweet tooth to be extracted: According to owner Bob Basler, Mr. Bulky Treats and Gifts will be pulling down the security gate at its Westfield Shoppingtown West Park location for the last time on June 30. The source for bulk candy, snacks and gifts at the mall for 12 years, Basler said the store will be closing due to slow business.

In a letter sent to me, Basler pointed to "the lack of sufficient major stores on the south wing of the mall," resulting in a lack of foot traffic past the store, as the main reason for the closure.

Dittronics expanding into Cape: After 30 years selling two-way radios at the corner of U.S. 61 and Highway 77 in Benton, Mo., Richard and Greg Dittlinger have decided to open a second store in Cape Girardeau. The brothers will open a new location at 1735 N. Kingshighway, near Ralph's Furniture, within the next two weeks.

Richard Dittlinger said they wanted to open an outlet in a more centralized location with the heavier traffic of Cape Girardeau. To bring passers-by into the new store, Dittlinger said, they have expanded their business beyond radios. Dittronics will deal in digital video surveillance equipment, and when the network is up and running, it will also be an outlet and carrier of Nextel wireless service.

Richard also mentioned that once things settle down after the new store's opening, the brothers will look to expand their inventory to include biometric entry security equipment such as fingerprint and retinal scanners.

"Hand Me" out: For the past six years, Hand Me Arounds owners Paula Schnurbusch and Suzanne Buchheit have been reselling children's and maternity clothes, wooden puzzles and toys. But, now that each have three children at home to worry about, they've decided to close their store in the Cape Girardeau Town Plaza.

"We've watched our customers' kids grow up," Schnurbusch said. "Now it's time to focus on our kids."

Plans to go out of business were set in motion at the end of April. Schnurbusch said they plan to close for good at the end of this month.

Although they are turning the majority of their energy to motherhood, both women will continue to exercise their business skills by helping their respective husbands with their businesses.

Cape Imaging unveils new toy: Cape Imaging MRI has a new tool to use in its outpatient diagnostic imaging services. Last month, the practice at 3065 William St. announced the arrival of a new Siemens multislice CT (computerized tomography) system, which will decrease scan time and produce more detailed images.

By making a sequence of cross-sectional X-ray images or "virtual slices," through a portion of the body, the scanner provides a detailed 3-D reconstruction image that allows doctors to see a more accurate picture of the inside of a patient's body. The technology can be used to diagnose everything from heart and lung disease to colorectal cancer.

Michels set to bring new waves down to Cape: After attending the recent Dish Network Team Summit in Dallas, Texas, David and Elizabeth Michel have announced that their business, Down To Earth Satellite Systems in Cape Girardeau, will soon add Sirius Satellite Radio to its list of services. That means music channels for the Michels' Dish Network customers and a new 110-channel Sirius Satellite Radio for use in vehicles.

Tony Rehagen is the business editor for the Southeast Missourian. Send your comments, business news, information or questions to Tony Rehagen, 301 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63702-0699, e-mail trehagen@semissourian.com or call 335-6611, extension 137.

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