A new tenant will be occupying the former Blockbuster building in the Huck Finn Shopping Center in Hannibal later this year.
On Tuesday at city hall, CCM Corp of Ellisville, Mo., secured a permit necessary to begin renovation work on 205 Huck Finn Shopping Center. The remodeling will prepare the building for a Dirt Cheap store. According to the application, the estimated cost of the renovations will be $138,000.
Dirt Cheap, based in Fenton, specializes in the sale of alcohol and tobacco products. According to its website, Dirt Cheap has 11 locations in the St. Louis area, with two others in southern Missouri and one in Paducah, Ky.
This news follows last week’s acknowledgement by Harold Fry, vice president of leasing and marketing for Hauck Holdings, LTD, owner of the Huck Finn Shopping Center, that lease negotiations were underway with a “department store” that will utilize space in the building that now houses Sears.
“Sears will move over, which we’ve agreed to, and the department store will occupy that space,” said Fry, who could not reveal the identity of the business.
Fry would not speculate when an announcement might be made.
“We have a letter of intent, but are in lease negotiations,” he said.
During Wednesday’s Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council meeting at city hall, George Walley, the Council’s executive director, wrote in a memo that “March, April and May have been the most active period on the retail/commercial front which I have seen in many years.”
“At first I thought it was a phenomenon, but it has continued,” he told the group.
Rather than provide prospective businesses solely Hannibal’s latest census data, Walley is presenting site locators a report that shows within a 15-mile radius of the Huck Finn Shopping Center there are over 79,000 residents.
“If companies and stores will give us (Hannibal) half a chance they can make some money here,” said Mayor Roy Hark during Wednesday’s meeting. “There are a lot of people and dollars to be spent.”
Walley reported there are currently seven active projects that his office is assisting with in different capacities. Walley added he’s optimistic all of them will be “successfully implemented.”