City Centre's design to incorporate French flair

Monday, December 6, 2010

When patrons walk into City Centre they may feel like they've stumbled upon a quaint little European downtown.

Using reclaimed brick pavestones, slate and marble storefronts and French-inspired iron gates, the former Rust and Martin building, 2502 Tanner Drive in Cape Girardeau, is being transformed into a new multibusiness development called City Centre.

"We wanted to mimic the feeling you get in downtown Cape. We wanted to mimic the downtown streetscapes and environment," said developer Jeff Mauer of Cape Girardeau. "We used a French element in our design largely because of Cape's heritage."

Mike Rust of Rust & Martin was responsible for the interior design work at City Centre.

Three businesses -- LeBounce, an indoor inflatable play center; The Source Yoga and More; and Cafe Soupe -- are already slated for City Centre, scheduled to open in late January. Other store spaces are still available.

When people enter through the front door, they will be in a courtyard area, with stores on both sides and an eight-foot fountain in the center. LeBounce is in the back of the building, where Rust & Martin's warehouse was. Rust & Martin has moved to the Regent's Parc building, 1610 N. Kingshighway. It will be opening at its new location in mid-December.

The Source will be operated by Lauren Jones of Cape Girardeau and offer a variety of yoga, pilates, dance, qigong, tai chi and meditation classes.

Cafe Soupe will serve soups, salads and sandwiches with seating in the building's courtyard area.

In addition to the interior reconstruction, the building has been repainted and new landscaping and signage have been added.

* Entrepreneurship center receives rural development grant: The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University is planning to implement a one-year $45,400 grant from USDA Rural Development titled "Facilitating Rural Community Projects" that will launch in 2011. The grant was awarded under the USDA Rural Business Opportunity Grants program and consists of two main objectives. It will allow the center to continue offering its highly successful Operation Jump-Start entrepreneurial training program and allow the organization to work with rural Bootheel communities to facilitate community development projects. The RRCI program is an initiative to bring together high school students, community leaders, and local entrepreneurs to focus on ways to improve their communities and develop entrepreneurial awareness and skills. Through the RRCI program, the center has worked with several communities in the northern portion of Southeast Missouri State University's 25-county service region. The new grant will assist the center in conducting RRCI activities in the Missouri Bootheel region. In addition, Operation Jump-Start classes will be offered in the Bootheel as part of "Facilitating Rural Community Projects." Since Operation Jump-Start was started by the center in 2006, the program has educated about 550 people who have created more than 200 small businesses and about 350 jobs.

* Ameren offers new renewable energy option: In response to customer demand for a more affordable commitment to green power, Ameren Missouri is introducing the Pure Power Half-Block participation option. Customers who in enroll in the Pure Power Half-Block option will pay $7.50 per month -- less than the price of three gallons of gasoline -- to guarantee the delivery of 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy to the regional power pool each month. Purchasing one Half-Block per month for a year will prevent the release of 9,500 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere -- an emissions reduction of almost 1.3 times more than that gained by driving a hybrid vehicle for a year, according to Ameren. A Pure Power Half-Block also helps diversify the regional power pool, reduces our dependence on foreign oil and creates Missouri jobs. To enroll in Pure Power, call 866-665-7873 or visit the website at www. amerenmissouri.com/purepower.

* Volunteer tax preparers needed: East Missouri Action Agency is seeking volunteers to provide free tax counseling and basic income tax return preparations during the upcoming tax season. Last year volunteers prepared 188 federal tax returns in Cape Girardeau County for low-income and disabled taxpayers who could not prepare their own tax returns. The IRS provides free training and materials. The next training class will be Jan. 10 in Park Hills, Mo. Transportation will be provided. Volunteers need basic computer skills, but accounting experience is not required. To volunteer, contact Erin Gotto at EMAA, 334-5533, ext. 2101 or e-mail egotto@eastmoaa.org.

Southeast Missourian business reporter Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or mmiller@semissourian.com.

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