When is the old building going to be torn down?
As most of you know, Stafford County Economic Development purchased the site where LJ & J Automotive had been for several years as a location for constructing a new grocery store. In order to carry out this project, federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be used, as well as a possible loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a portion of costs. These federal funds come with requirements to ensure that the funding is not being used in conflict with other federal programs, regulations, or local comprehensive planning. In the case of this project, we have to go through a process to demonstrate that neither the demolition of the existing building, nor the new construction, would violate any of these requirements. We have to notify a number of entities who have an opportunity to either protest the plan or require that mitigating measures be taken. Therefore, we are going through a process of notifying the below tribes and agencies of the project.
Here's a list of the tribes we've had to contact to proceed:
Here's a list of the agencies we've had to contact to proceed:
As of the writing of this article, we have written consent from KS Historical Society, but are waiting on an answer from KS Department of Health and Environment for demolition. An asbestos inspector has inspected the premises and we are waiting on those results as well. Others on the list will need to respond within a prescribed period of time related to construction. We hope the building will be demolished by the end of 2017. Construction is expected to begin in early 2018.
***This does not prohibit us from tearing down the building or proceeding with construction, it simply means we have to go through a process and adhere to requirements to get to those exciting steps.
Stafford County Economic Development has been notified that it was awarded a
$780,800 Community Economic Development grant from the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services. Funding will be used for construction of a new
grocery, pharmacy, and fuel center in St. John at the intersection of U.S.
Highway 281 and 5th Avenue to provide fresh food and approximately 30 jobs.
Construction is expected to begin before year end.
Site where the grocery, pharmacy and fuel center will be constructed.
For the past year, Economic Development had been making plans to construct a two-story building at 202 N. Main in St. John across from Gray’s Photo Studio. This new structure would not only provide working space for an entrepreneur, but also living quarters.
Meanwhile, Economic Development had the opportunity to buy a building that fit our proposed construction plans. Eco Devo now owns the building at 311 N. Broadway in St. John on the east side of the City Square. The main level is an open area that will be utilized as working space. The second floor is a three-bedroom apartment with a bathroom, living room and kitchen. This building has been used as a restaurant, flower shop, and insurance office in the past.
Immediately occupying the space will be the new pharmacy, Stafford County Drug. The intent is that they will rent this space until the new grocery store is constructed on U.S. Highway 281, at which time they will move out there and even have a drive through window.
Stafford County Drug has been ready to start their physical business in Stafford County for a while now, but ran in to that question of where does one go. It’s kind of that illogical paradox that even though we don’t have a lot of new business creation, one of the hard things is to find available space. Eco Devo is trying to alleviate that with their business incubator.
There are some minor renovations going on inside the building before the pharmacy will open. So, there isn’t an official open date yet, but things are under way.
It's been roughly a generation since Stafford County last had a pharmacy.
Having a tenant right away will give Eco Devo staff a little bit of time to develop our next plan for what the incubator will be. Eco Devo very much wants to use the idea that it has residential space. Staff members think it could be helpful to place interns in the area, or even recruit college students that are studying entrepreneurship to give them a more defined way to launch their business. Staff will now begin to develop an application, find additional sources of funding, and even develop policy and procedures for future tenants.
Stafford County Economic Development
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