Mark Lester, Melanie Gertis and Jaclyn Dameron will basically be doing what they've done for years -- designing streets, mapping out sewer lines and plotting subdivisions.
But starting today, the three former Cape Girardeau city engineers will be doing it as private consultants.
Gertis, Lester, Dameron & Associates is set to open today at 1301 N. Kingshighway, Suite L, in the same building as All-State Insurance and Regional Title.
"We all love engineering," Gertis said. "But sometimes it's difficult to do much designing in a government setting."
The three are equal partners in the business. All three bring tremendous experience and connections. Lester was city engineer since 1990, and Gertis had been assistant city engineer for eight years.
"It just seemed like a good opportunity in my life to make this jump," Gertis said. "It was hard. That basically was the only job I ever knew. But the time for me, and the other two, just seemed right."
They don't have any projects they're working on officially, Gertis said, though she said they have some things in the works. "Hopefully now, now that we're opening, people will know we're here."
* New subdivision nearing completion: Steven Fuller, the nationally renowned designer, is coming to Cape Girardeau.
Well, at least his work is.
A new subdivision will feature homes that were designed by the man who has had his work featured in Southern Living magazine, said Mike Jones, developer and owner of Cape Custom Homes.
Jones said the 48-acre subdivision will be done in about two months. It's on Highway 177, about three blocks from Lexington Avenue. There are 23 lots that range from 1 acre to 3 1/2 acres. Jones stressed that the subdivision is within the city limits.
The subdivision will be called Deevers Farm because it used to be a farm that was owned by the Deevers family dating to the late 1800s.
Most of the homes will cost a half-million dollars and up.
Jones said they picked out the homes, and all are designed by Steven Fuller.
"He's a pretty big name in the business," he said. "Not to say that someone couldn't decide to build a different home. But his homes are very attractive. ... They're not cookie-cutter by any means."
* Best Rate Mortgage to move to Jackson: Best Rate Mortgage will relocate from Cape Girardeau to Jackson, according to Tom Kelsey, commercial broker with Lorimont Place, Ltd., who handled the office lease transaction.
Kelsey said the mortgage company recently leased professional office space at 2201 Walton Drive in Jackson. The company will occupy Suite E, next to Thrivent Financial. The multitenant office development is across from the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Jackson.
Best Rate is owned by Jason Huskey and was previously on North Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau. The business offers a variety of home and commercial mortgage options and will continue to serve Southeast Missouri from its new Jackson offices. The business expecst to be in its new spot the first week of March.
* House Doctors sold: Cameron Mitchell of Jackson has bought House Doctors from Rick Hetzel.
Mitchell had been in heavy-equipment sales. Mitchell said that House Doctors under his ownership opens today.
"The House Doctors concept is bringing professionalism to the handyman business," he said.
Mitchell said he's personally tried to do home improvements at his own home. He said that at times it can get tough. "I think a lot of other people are in the same position I was in, trying to get things done," he said.
House Doctors will do home maintenance and repair, remodeling, carpentry, kitchens, bathrooms, drywall repair, painting, etc. The office is at 20 N. Pacific St.
* Silver Saddle Dance Club: It's a place to kick up your boots, or at least learn how to. The new dance club opened recently at 330 S. Kingshighway. It's in the back of Golden Needle, which sells sewing machines. The business is an instructional club, which teaches dance classes on a regular basis. Owners are instructor Irene Reynolds and Sheryl Winschel, who owns the Golden Needle.
The club specializes in single, partner and country line dancing.
* Dexter warehouse leased: One of the larger industrial warehouses in Stoddard County has been leased to the Vitronic/Four Seasons company, which has a manufacturing division in Doniphan, Mo., with approximately 163 employees.
The 78,000-square-foot warehouse facility is in the Dexter Industrial Park and will be used by the national manufacturing company for shipping and receiving.
Tom Kelsey represented the owner of building, Westport Place, Ltd., in the lease transaction. Kelsey said Vitronic/Four Season, a promotional products supplier, owned by EBSCO, a diversified company with more than 20 businesses and 4,900 employees worldwide, had recently purchased Admanco Inc. in Ripon, Wis.
The 83-year-old Admanco manufactured a line of bags, business accessories and specialty promotional items. The acquisition retained administrative offices, sales support and customer service in Wisconsin, but moved all of the production to EBSCO's Doniphan plant and warehousing to the new Dexter facility.
The expanded operation is expected to add several new jobs to the region. EBSCO, founded in 1944, is a $1.5 billion company based in Birmingham, Ala.
* New hair salon: Lisa's House of Hair and Sun is set to open March 8 at 2031 Independence St. in the strip mall next to the skating rink in Cape Girardeau.
Owner Lisa Droge said she will be doing cutting, styling, perming and soon will have a tanning bed. (That's where the sun comes in.)
Droge is no stranger to hair. She owned her own hair salon here for 20 years, then moved around a lot and worked in a shop or two in town.
"I just felt the need to be on my own again," she said.
Her salon offers haircuts for men, women and children.
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, extension 137. They can also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.