SIKESTON - A guest speaker at today's Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce meeting is announcing some great news regarding the former Fleming warehouse on the west side of Sikeston.
"We took over the Fleming building," confirmed Dan Mickelson, authorized representative for JNS Holdings of Creve Coeur. "We closed on it at the end of September."
JNS Holdings has looked at the building "seriously for about the past three months," Mickelson said. "We're a group of investors that looks for property that we can get at a reasonable price with the intent to lease or 'condo' it out (that is, to sell off a section as is done with condominiums). Our preference is to lease it."
In the area between St. Louis, Memphis, Tenn., Paducah, Ky., and Springfield, JNS Holdings "saw a need for additional, reasonably-priced warehousing," Mickelson said. "And Sikeston is kind of right in the middle of it."
The building should be ready for tenants sometime in December, according to Mickelson. "We're in the stage of fixing things," he explained. As the building has been vacant since 1998 when Malone and Hyde left, repairs such as patching the roof as well as upgrades to the electrical systems and fire-control sprinklers will need to be completed.
"Ideally we would like to lease out the whole thing, but there are ways to isolate parts of it," Mickelson said. He said realistically speaking, it will probably end up being leased to between two and four tenants although it is "too early in the game right now" to know for sure.
"We're actively soliciting right now for offers for leases," Mickelson said. "A couple of people have expressed interest. Our intent, obviously, is to bring some jobs to Sikeston and to fill the building up."
He said the plan is to "work out in circles" by first seeking local businesses as tenants, then businesses in the region, and finally looking for tenants across the nation.
Ed Dust, director of Sikeston's Department of Economic Development, said he can't take credit for the sale of the Fleming building, but is extremely pleased by the news.
The sale indicates "things are going well for Sikeston," Dust said. "What I'm so excited about is this means somebody outside the city of Sikeston has a tremendous amount of faith in our community. I'm looking forward to working with him because you know they may be advertising this nationwide. We will work as partners to market it."
During the Chamber of Commerce meeting today, Mickelson will discuss "how they're going to promote it, how they're going to use it, what their plans are," Dust said.
Dust will also speak to SACC members about "what, after five months, I've been doing and what I hope to do," he said, as well as "all the positives I see that Sikeston has and three things Sikeston can improve on."
He will also discuss "how important it is that we work very hard to work with our existing industries so they continue to do well."
"Since May through October of this year, we've had 99 building permits for residential construction - that's equal to an estimated $5.4 million in new and remodeled residential construction," Dust added. "We've also had 27 building permits for commercial, and that represents about $7 million."
Other topics to be addressed by Dust include "the shops at the Lake Crossing Shopping Center - the old MoDOT property," he said, which represents an additional $9.3 million in new construction. "They have also projected that sales out of that shopping center will be $10 million annually."