Kenny Pincksten works to restore one of Cape Girardeau's historic buildings

Monday, August 15, 2011
Kenny Pincksten of Prestige Development (Laura Simon)

With Cape Girardeau making plans to improve the Broadway corridor, developer Kenny Pincksten and his company, Prestige Development, have begun a restoration project on one of the street's historic buildings. Site preparation has been done already to the two-story, 143-year-old building at the corner of Broadway and Sprigg Street, with plans for retail space on the first floor and apartments on the second. Half of the $800,000 project is being funded by a Missouri Community Development Block Grant, which requires a matching amount from the developer. "Doing something that other builders/developers won't or can't do is most challenging and rewarding," Pincksten says.

Pincksten is a Cape Girardeau native who graduated from Cape Girardeau Central High School and attended Southeast Missouri State University.

Business Today: How long have you been in the construction/development business?
Kenny Pincksten: I was raised in a construction family. But, I've been in business for myself for about 16 years.

BT: What do you like most about your job?
Pincksten: There's a certain feeling you get knowing that long after you're gone you've left your mark on the planet. Your kids, their kids, their grandkids can all see something that was left there by you.

BT: What has been your favorite project?
Pincksten: My most favorite project to date has definitely been Laurel Grove subdivision. It was something totally unique and received such a positive response. Many ideas for the subdivision came from homes I grew up in. I am looking forward to the restoration of the Vasterling Building, which will definitely be the most challenging project for me to date.

BT: What made you decide to renovate rather than rebuild the Vasterling Building? Have you ever undertaken a project of this size before?
Pincksten: Nostalgia is popular today, and I've noticed a growing interest in the downtown area. I initially was going to build a new structure at that location while maintaining a historical look. But it was brought to my attention that this building was the only one left at the intersection that belonged there. I'm certain that saving a part of Cape Girardeau history will prove a wise decision both professionally and personally.

BT: You've said you hope your project is a catalyst for other Broadway building owners to make improvements. Once you've finished this building, would you consider taking on another?
Pincksten: Certainly -- although probably not one that has deteriorated to this level.

BT: What are your thoughts on the Broadway corridor improvements? One of the plans would eliminate some parking. Is that a concern?
Pincksten: Cape Girardeau exists due to its location on the Mississippi River; why wouldn't anyone want to preserve its initial footprint? But there is a reason why the downtown area has declined, mostly due to parking issues. I can remember as a small child, riding with my mother to shop downtown. It would sometimes take 15 minutes to find a parking spot near where you were wanting to shop, then seeing the cold sweat break out when she had to parallel park. Parallel parking is more of a stressful event today because we're not used to it.

BT: After the Broadway improvements are complete, what area or neighborhood would you like to see the city focus on next?
Pincksten: I'd really like to see some type of incentive for retailers to open new business in the downtown area.

BT: What are your goals for your company's future?
Pincksten: Unlike many other areas, Cape is experiencing a considerable growth in jobs. We're looking into the increasing need for rental properties and may be adapting to that need.

BT: What do you do in your spare time?
Pincksten: I spent most of my spare time at home with my family and mostly my 2-year-old granddaughter, Ella.

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