More developers inquiring about Cape area

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Interest from companies considering locating in Cape Girardeau is picking up, a sign that, at least locally, the economy is moving in the right direction, said Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO John Mehner.

The Chamber and Cape Girardeau Area Magnet received first-time inquiries from seven outside developers interested in bringing businesses to Cape Girardeau in the past few weeks, Mehner said.

All the inquiries were from companies or developments that had not previously contacted Cape Girardeau officials, Mehner said.

"While we can't comment on specifics, we can say that several existing buildings have been drawing interest from prospects outside the Cape Girardeau area," said Mitch Robinson, executive director of Magnet, in a news release.

Mehner said the inquiries were about vacant land and vacant buildings in several areas of town.

"Increased economic development interest and activity is a great thing for our community and a positive sign for our local economy," Mehner said.

Robinson said he's seeing increasing inquiries in sectors such as industrial, service and retail.

Mehner said some of the best projects often come from local referrals and encouraged people with a potential lead to contact Magnet at 334-5000.

* Show Me's closed: Show Me's restaurant at 1751 Independence St. is closed, at least temporarily. A sign posted on the door of the building indicates the restaurant is closed for maintenance. Owner Randy Palen could not be reached for comment. The sign did not indicate a date the restaurant would reopen.

* The Children's Place to open: West Park Mall's newest children's clothing store will open in time for back-to-school shopping, according to Susan Godorov, spokeswoman for Centro Properties, which operates the mall. The Children's Place is a leading specialty retailer of children's clothing and merchandise with more than 900 stores and an online store. Renovations are underway to the space previously occupied by Things Remembered and Sportsman's Trail where The Children's Place will open in August. Things Remembered and Sportsman's Trail have relocated inside the mall.

* Busch Pet Products relocates: Busch Pet Products has moved to 1720 Kingsway, Suite 105, in the new LaCroix Market shopping center. The store specializes in all-natural, holistic and organic products for dogs, cats and horses. It carries pet foods, treats, toys, collars, leashes and other pet care essentials. Owner Stacy Busch-Heisserer said the location provides additional space to add a self-service Dog Wash. Work is being completed on that portion, expected to open in a couple weeks. For more information, visit

n Operation Jump Start graduations: The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University recently completed of four Operation Jump Start small-business training classes in Iron, Bollinger, Cape Girardeau and Scott counties from which 65 people graduated. During the six-week training programs, the aspiring entrepreneurs reviewed the basics of planning, marketing, legal issues, tax issues and the financial management aspects of owning a business. For more information about the center and the entrepreneurial support services it offers, call 651-2929 or visit

Southeast Missourian business reporter Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or

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