SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Construction of a new bridge along Chestnut Expressway over the tracks just west of 65 might create some traffic backups for drivers. But for businesses in that area, the project has been more than just an inconvenience.
Two companies moved out of their original locations since their properties had to become part of this major MoDOT project. Gene’s Gallery moved long before the work started trying to get ahead of all the construction. Sutherland’s is in the process of moving into its new building.
“We will be moving to Glenn Isle Center on South Glenstone,” said Mike Sutherland, owner of Sutherland.
The store will be in the old Hancock Fabrics building, currently being prepped for the new tenant.
“And then we’ll start setting racks and putting product in there,” said Sutherland.
Sutherland says the new place is a smaller facility, but it will mean efficiency and convenience.
“You are going to be able to park right by the door. You are not going to walk 100 yards to a big box, and then another 100 yards to the back of the store to buy a hammer,” said Sutherland.
The store had been at this location since 1971. Its neighbor, Gene’s Gallery, had almost 40 years there, too. The motorcycle store moved to North Glenstone in late 2015.
“It is turned out to be a blessing in disguise, that’s true. We didn’t know and just put our best hopes in it and it’s turned out well,” said Gregg McNabb, owner of Gene’s Gallery.
After the move and settling in…
“Business is been better than it was at our previous location,” he said.
The main difference, McNabb says is the number of vehicles driving by. And more traffic on the road means more traffic in his store.
“We have motorcycles outside now, and now people can drive down the road and see the bikes and go ‘oh, there’s a motorcycle store’,” said McNabb.
Sutherland hopes when his store reopens, it will pick up new customers but also bring along its original ones.
“In business, you’re always scared when you’ve been at a location for so long and that you’re going to alienate your old customers,” he said. “But we are the same company and I think people know that.”
Sutherland’s will reopen at its new location in June. This phase of the project on Chestnut Expressway is expected to be completed by November.