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.
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Stafford County Economic Development
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