Plaza Tire on William to move, become CVS Pharmacy

Thursday, January 3, 2013
Demolition is underway Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 at the former Plaza Tire Service corporate offices and warehouse at William Street and South Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau. (Fred Lynch)

Plaza Tire Service is moving into a new location and CVS Pharmacy is slated to build a store at Plaza's current location.

The tire retailer and automobile service center will open a new flagship store in May, vacating the corner of William Street and South Kingshighway where it was established 50 years ago. It is moving down the block to Good Hope Street and South Kingshighway, across from Hobby Lobby. The current Plaza store building will be demolished after the move.

"It will be a newer, nicer, better accessible store with all the latest equipment," said Scott Rhodes, who co-owns Plaza Tire Service with his brother, Mark Rhodes. They are the sons of founder Vernon "Pee Wee" Rhodes.

Submitted photo An artist rendering of the newest Plaza Tire Service to be completed in Spring 2013. The location will be at the corners of Good Hope Street and South Kingshighway, directly across from Hobby Lobby.

Through the years, Plaza Tire Service has acquired the entire block on which it began, but finalized a sale of a portion of it to CVS last week.

This drawing shows the location of the future CVS Pharmacy and new Plaza Tire store.

Rhodes said private money financed the project, with no special tax deal or rebates. The city of Cape Girardeau was very accessible to him and to CVS, and worked with them to help bring the project smoothly to fruition, he said.

The Cape Girardeau City Council last month unanimously voted to vacate the right-of-way and deed the property taken up by Linda Street to the project. Linda Street runs through the block from William Street to Good Hope Street, and eventually will be incorporated into a parking area.

The drugstore is in the planning stages and will open in 2014, said Mark DeAngelis, director of public relations for CVS.

CVS has more than 7,300 stores in 44 states; the closest to Cape Girardeau is in Carbondale, Ill.

"As we grow our presence in the state of Missouri, we look for sites that are highly visible and easily accessible in order to be convenient for our customers," DeAngelis said.

The corner of William Street and South Kingshighway fits the criteria, he said, and "we look forward to serving the retail pharmacy needs of the Cape Girardeau community."

John Mehner, president and CEO of the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce, said residents have contacted the chamber many times expressing interest in having a CVS in the area, and the pharmacy company has requested information on vacant commercial properties. But the deal was made entirely by the Rhodes family.

"They did a good job," Mehner said.

Demolition is underway to remove Plaza Tire Service's former corporate offices and a warehouse on the site where the facility will be built on South Kingshighway. Also scheduled for removal on the same block within the next few months is a building that housed Bag City, which closed at the end of 2012. Rhodes said an existing warehouse that will be behind the new service center will be redeveloped, possibly as office space.

Plaza Car Wash was founded in 1963 and has grown into 51 Plaza Tire Service locations across Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas and Kentucky, including three in Cape Girardeau and one in Jackson. The new store will open the day after the current site closes, a plan that would fit his father's business ethic, Rhodes said.

"He instilled in us growing up to always take care of business," Rhodes said. "We've had three floods, a fire, many other catastrophes that people deal with in business every day, and have never missed a day of business."

salderman@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

2149 William St., Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Submitted photo The current William Street Plaza Tire Service as it appeared in 1984 when it was first built and the original car wash building was finally demolished.
Submitted photo Plaza Car Wash as it appeared in its early days before shifting its business focus to tire sales and transforming into Plaza Tire Service

Good Hope Street and South Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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