Sutherlands, one of the first home-improvement stores to open on Range Line Road, is getting a full makeover.

A manager told me "the whole store is being done.'' The racks are being replaced. The furniture department will double in size. The paint department has been upgraded and relocated closer to the main entrance. The list of changes goes on and on.

I'm a frequent shopper at Sutherlands, 2805 S. Range Line Road. One of the things I like about the Joplin store is that I know where to find things. That's a big help when you're in a hurry. I am going to have to relearn the store now because everything has changed. I mentioned that to the manager. His reply: "Same with us.''

To add to the confusion, he told me how the electrical department will be moved to a temporary home before it is moved to its final home. Fortunately for me, I have always relied on real electricians to do my home wiring work. Let the professionals do that job.

So if you plan to go shopping at Sutherlands in the near future, it will have what you are looking for, but it might take some time to find it. There are "pardon our mess'' signs all over the place. The remodeling, which started more than a year ago, is likely to continue through July.

The original Joplin store opened in 1967. You can see the flat foundation that existed for that building in the store's parking lot today. That building was dismantled bolt by bolt and moved to East 32nd Street, where it would become the home of Joplin Floor Designs. The existing building was constructed in 1980 and expanded and remodeled in 1994.

Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Sutherlands is one of the largest privately owned home-improvement center chains in the United States. It operates about 50 stores across 13 states, ranging from small lumberyards to huge warehouse stores. It was founded in 1917 by Robert Sutherland.

When it looked like a Menards home-improvement store might be coming to Joplin, there was some talk about town that places like Sutherlands would have a rough go of it because of the increased competition. I don't see that happening. They said the same thing would happen to Sutherlands when Lowe's and Home Depot came to town. I shop at all of them. As for Menards, I have heard it is still looking at Joplin.

Another makeover

Another building in the 700 block of South Main Street has been given a complete makeover to house Midwestern Interactive, a software company.

The contractor for the project, Terry Quarles, with Quarles Construction of Webb City, told me the building has been redone from top to bottom over the course of the past year. It has a new roof, new floors and a new electrical system. The brick walls have been sandblasted to give it an industrial feel on the inside. The most impressive change has been on the Main Street side of the building, where a new bank of windows has been installed around a new entrance.

Quarles said the project should be finished by the end of the month. The company, owned by Matt Johnson and Bart Paden, is moving to the storefront from an office space at Second Street and Joplin Avenue. The company, which specializes in website development, apps and software, employs about 24 people.

The building is located directly north of Renewed Mental Health, 719 S. Main St. The building that houses Renewed Mental Health was redone in 2018.

This block of Main Street will see additional activity in about two weeks or so. The makeover of the historic Joplin Furniture Co. building at 702-708 S. Main St. has been given a green light to move forward.


The Pronto Pharmacy stores have closed. The stores were purchased by Walgreens about three weeks ago, a spokesman for Walgreens in Joplin said.

The stores were located in shopping centers at 1227 E. 32nd St., Joplin, and at 501 S. Madison St., Webb City.

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

Wally Kennedy is a reporter and columnist for The Joplin Globe.

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