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St. Louis firm in line to buy Range Line property

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | 6:26 p.m. CST; updated 10:49 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 11, 2009

COLUMBIA — Residents of north Columbia who have clamored for a grocery store for years should have one at the intersection of Range Line Street and Blue Ridge Road by the end of 2010, developer David Atkins said. The grocery store would anchor a shopping center of up to 140,000-square feet.

Midland Development Group of St. Louis has tentatively agreed to buy the property from Rampart Development of Columbia. The company began eyeing the 20-acre plot in 2007, but decided not to buy and develop the land until recently. Rampart now will focus on meeting the infrastructure stipulations set out by Midland.

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“My hope is that construction could start late in 2009,” Atkins said. “Once construction commences, the facility would be finished within 12 months.”

Emery Sapp and Sons of Columbia began work this week on a $4.2 million extension of Providence Road between Vandiver Drive and Blue Ridge that will improve access to the Rampart property. That project was a major catalyst in Midland’s decision to buy and develop the land.

“This site is bursting with opportunity given the traffic studies, roof tops and absence of modern, comprehensive shopping facilities,” Cory Gale of Midland said, according to a Friday news release.

Fredrick Eugene Rowe, who lives in the area and works at The Answer Salon and Tanning, said he’s looking forward to the development across the street. He predicted northside residents will appreciate the shopping center.

“Oh yeah, we hate having to go across town to get some groceries,” Rowe said.

Neither Atkins nor Gale would discuss which grocers might locate on the property.

“We are still waiting on our own financial analysis of the project,” Gale said. “It is hard to get retailers to build right now.”

In May 2004, developers representing Walmart expressed interest in building another Walmart Supercenter on the city’s north side, preferably along Range Line Street. But Craig Van Matre, who has represented Kroenke and other partners in Walmart developments, said the economy has stalled those plans.

“I don’t see a Walmart on that side of town for some time,” Van Matre said.

Atkins said he also doubted a Walmart would be built on the land. He estimated a grocery store would take up about 80,000 square feet of the total development. He said he was grateful that the city and state have the Providence Road extension under way.

“It will drive traffic to the area, and the improvements prove to my buyers and potential tenants that the city of Columbia is serious about developing the north side of Columbia,” Atkins said. “This is a win-win-win situation.”


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Comments

John Schultz February 12, 2009 | 3:31 a.m.

Someone should tell Midland (and the Missourian) that there will be a Moser's very close that location in the near future as well.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 12, 2009 | 4:20 a.m.

John alot of people do not keep up on those things obviously. Especially about WalMart has been wanting to put a store out the way for years but was waiting for it to grow up enough to warrant the expense of building.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 12, 2009 | 6:24 a.m.

Isn't construction of that Moser's almost finished?

(Report Comment)
Mike Zweifel February 12, 2009 | 8:45 a.m.

Ayn,

I would guestimate the Moser's is about 2-3 months away. The building's exterior is almost finished, but there is no lighted sign on top, and am not sure about the interior. Depends on the weather, obviously.

As for being close to Moser's, I think it is about 1-1.5 miles away from the proposed location.

With the developer from St. Louis, I would speculate that a St. Louis-based grocer, like Schnuck's or Dierbergs, would go in there. Also, the company has a couple of developments with Kroger being the anchor tenant.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 12, 2009 | 9:42 a.m.

I realize that that part of town's population is growing and that it lacks a grocery story, but between the new Moser's and two more Hy-Vees, how many more can this market support? For example, will Patricia's lose a lot of customers to the Conley Hy-Vee and new Moser's?

(Report Comment)
Joe City February 12, 2009 | 10:01 a.m.

The grocery store is a day late and a dollar short. By the time this one is built, Moser's will already have a customer base, plus it is known that Moser's is easier to get in and out of as well as generally better prices.

Try again Atkins, I hope it doesn't fly.
More empty space to come folks.

(Report Comment)
Michael Amantea February 27, 2009 | 12:28 p.m.

What will it take to get a place to buy food near downtown. I am tired of doing my food shopping at Walgreen's.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 27, 2009 | 12:36 p.m.

There was a grocery store next to downtown: Schnucks. They moved in the early '90s because they got tired of the the shoplifting.

(Report Comment)

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