Nestled behind Grindstone Nature Area’s towering trees lies an area along Old 63 South that is experiencing rapid commercial and residential growth.
The newest addition to the area is the 9,600-square-foot Grindstone Village shopping plaza on Old 63 south of Stadium Boulevard and north of Grindstone Parkway. Building owner Brett Peters of Woodrail Development said he hopes his shops will provide this growing area of predominantly college students with services they lack.
“We knew when we came across that property that it was going to be a good location, given the demographics,” Peters said.
Three apartment complexes housing roughly 2,000 people are within a mile of Grindstone Village. Grindstone Canyon, Campus Lodge and Jefferson Commons, which recently changed its name to The Reserve at Columbia, are all near each other on Old 63.
The rapid construction of apartments in the area has been influenced in part by the yearly increase in MU’s enrollment, said Jim Paneck, chief building inspector for the city of Columbia. Paneck said all of Columbia is seeing growth, but this area has changed drastically in the past five years.
“Grindstone was just a little old pea gravel road over there with a mobile home park,” Paneck said.
So far, Peters has leased out only half his building, but he hopes to have the remaining half leased within a week. He hopes the two confirmed businesses, a Pickleman’s restaurant and the Grindstone Liquor and Convenience Store, will open within a couple of weeks.
Pickleman’s will offer sandwiches, soups, salads, muffins and coffee, owner Doug Stritzel said. He said the restaurant will deliver to the surrounding area. Stritzel said he chose the location because of its growth.
“It’s right across from Jefferson Commons and where I believe a lot of growth is occurring in the city,” he said. “I wanted to target the college kids.”
Stritzel hopes his restaurant will open by Sept. 8.
Grindstone Liquor will also open about the same time. It will offer snack foods in addition to beer, wine and liquor.
Peters is confident a sports bar will lease the remaining 5,200 square feet of his building but said a tanning salon might take some of that space. He said it would be about two months before either of those businesses would open.
Meanwhile, ground leveling has started for a new townhouse and apartment complex just south of Grindstone Canyon apartments. The new complex, Copper Beach, will have 222 units and a total capacity of 640 residents, according to plans given to Paneck.
MU student and The Reserve resident Tyler Raine, 21, said the liquor store will succeed because it’s within walking distance of all the apartments.
“I usually just go to gas stations, really,” he said. “But if there is a liquor store right across the street, I would definitely use it.”