The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 5, 2013

Wally Kennedy: Range Line property filling up fast

JOPLIN, Mo. — When the tornado struck, it reduced to rubble virtually everything between the 1400 block and the 2300 block of South Range Line Road.

But one by one over the past 18 months, the empty pieces of property there have been reclaimed by new construction. It’s a testament to the power of enterprise and to the power of location. If you want to be in on the action, you have to be where the action is.

The latest piece of property to come back into service is the former Sonic Drive-In property in front of Academy Sports and Outdoors at 1801 S. Range Line Road. It will be the new home of a stand-alone building for Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

Soon, another empty piece of property at the southeast corner of 15th Street and Range Line Road will be redeveloped. It will become a new Kum & Go convenience store that will be nearly 5,000 square feet in size. City planners have given the project a green light. It will replace a small strip mall that once housed Freddy’s Steakburgers and some other storefronts.

But the project entails more than just the construction of the convenience store. The city is planning to correct a problem that has existed for a long time on the east side of that intersection. The city plans to make 15th Street a city street east of Range Line all the way to the entrance of the Wal-Mart parking lot. There are no plans to extend the street to Rex Avenue. The street will be wider than the road that exists there now. And it probably will have curbs.

The development of this 1.13-acre property and the Sonic Drive-In property means that fewer pieces of property are available for redevelopment in the tornado zone along Range Line. I think the number of undeveloped properties is now down to about nine or so.

They are the northeast corner of 15th and Range Line; Wireless Connections, 1431 S. Range Line; the McAllister and Menke dental office property at 1530 S. Range Line; Long John Silver’s, 1531 S. Range Line; Lube-N-Oil, 20th and Range Line; Taco Hut, 2014 S. Range Line; Jim Bob’s Steak and Ribs, 2040 S. Range Line; Pizza By Stout, 2101 S. Range Line; and Arby’s, 2130 S. Range Line.

Wireless Connections has relocated to Chase Colton Plaza, 420 N. Range Line. The dental offices have relocated to an attractive new building at 2001 W. 20th. Jim Bob’s has relocated to the former Cabo del Sol property at 3129 E. Hammons Blvd.

If things continue at this pace, it won’t be long before there is no available property in the tornado zone along Range Line Road. If you’re looking for a piece of the action, time is not on your side.

Let’s make a deal

Bob’s Furniture Gallery, 1736 S. Main St., is closing Thursday. I have that piece of information from Mark Parrish, the owner.

I have dropped by the store on a couple of occasions in recent weeks and found some good deals. There’s still some good stuff left. This week will be the week to make a deal.


A careful reader found an error in the Dec. 23 column about Chipotle Mexican Grill’s decision to open a restaurant this year at the northeast corner of Seventh Street and Range Line Road.

In the column, it said the first Chipotle Mexican Grill was near the University of Colorado in Denver. That was wrong. It was near the University of Denver, a private school.

The caller said the place was so popular that she and her family would have to wait up to an hour in line for their food.

Let’s hope that’s not the case in Joplin.

If you have news about something happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, call 417-623-3480, ext. 7250; or send an email to; or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 417-623-8598.

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