Talk about a long courtship.

Joplin has been courting HyVee to build a grocery store here for more than a decade. The latest effort has come to an end. But the courtship goes on. Do not give up hope.

I have been told by a reliable source who is in the local commercial real estate loop that HyVee’s president recently came to Joplin and looked at a proposed site for a store on the east side of the 3000 block of South Range Line Road. He did not think it was the best site for a store.

But HyVee is still interested in Joplin. The search for a 15-acre site goes on and the city has suggested some alternate sites to the company.

The company first expressed an interest in Joplin in 2010 when it looked at the former Gus Shaffer Ford dealership property that was located on the west side of the 3000 block of South Range Line. At that time, there was a conflict over the need for a traffic signal on Range Line to serve the new store. Instead of selling the property to HyVee, the owner of the property accepted an offer from a Springfield interest.

The property was subdivided to make room for Andy’s Frozen Custard, Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, a new hotel, and On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina. The cantina is being transformed into a Brickyard Brewery, which could open next month. There are other parts of this property that are available for development.

Ahead of schedule

BKD CPAs and Advisors moved into its stylish new home this week at 3129 Hammons Boulevard. This used to be the former Jim Bob’s BBQ restaurant, and before that it was a Marketplace Grill, which had fallen into disrepair and had become an eyesore.

The move in terms of distance was a short one for BKD. They have relocated from an office at 3230 Hammons Blvd. That building will be demolished to make way for a Menards Home Improvement Store, which is part of 32nd Street Place, Joplin’s newest economic development project located just southeast of 32nd Street and Range Line Road.

A BKD spokesman told me the remodeling of Jim Bob’s was completed “quicker than anticipated,” and that should speed up the demolition of their former office building.

The move into the office building, I was told, is exciting for the company, which will mark its 100th anniversary in Joplin next year.

In addition to constructing a new Hammons Boulevard through the development, another project to make 32nd Street Place a reality is moving forward. Liberty Utilities was recently issued a permit from the city in the amount of $6.7 million to build a new substation at 3110 E. 32nd St. The property is directly east of the existing substation.

The Menard’s store will serve as the main anchor for the 70-acre redevelopment project. The $188 million project, developed by Woodsonia Real Estate Inc., will also have business and commercial buildings, restaurants, a movie theater/entertainment venue and multifamily housing.

Under contract

The former King Palace restaurant at 1401 S. Range Line Road, which has been closed for some time, is under contract again.

I have been told that a Texas company is bringing a fast-food restaurant to the property that will be new to Southwest Missouri. The King Palace property will be demolished if the sale goes through.

Details to come.

New office

Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri has opened a new office at 1300 S. Main St.

Darci Patterson, with the agency, said LFCS has been providing home visitation services to families with children younger than 3 since 2018 in Jasper, Newton and McDonald counties. The services include parenting education and life skills.

LFCS had been working out of an office in the Empire Market building. An increase in workers created the need for a larger office.

The storefront was formerly part of Joplin ProPrint.

Contact Wally Kennedy at wkennedy@joplinglobe.com.

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