It's not a church
When a uniquely attractive building is going up on one of the most visible corners in the city, people are going to start talking and the local business column writer is going to start getting a lot of questions. I'm pleased to be able to tell you what it is and, contrary to many people's guesses, it's not a church.
The striking structure across Mullican Street from Gondola Restaurant is the brainchild of Jessica Jones and will be the new home of Jones & Co. Real Estate, currently located at 107 Clark Blvd. Jessica has been a licensed real estate agent for 18 years but, five years ago, decided to open her own place, Jones & Co. Real Estate.
This wasn't a move Jessica expected to be making at this point but an opportunity came up that was too good for her to pass up. Like every good real estate agent, Jessica knows it's all about location, location, location. "The Clark Blvd. place has been a really good spot for us but the location at the red light on the four-lane, we just couldn't pass it up when the opportunity arose. I thought I may not ever get this chance again because those corner spots are all occupied. When we bought the spot it was residential. We had to have it rezoned," Jessica said.
With such a high-profile location, Jones & Co. needed an eye-catching building worthy of the grand stage it would occupy. "The design just came off the top of our head and we rolled with it. It was a work in progress. We didn't have set plans on every detail from the beginning. We just rolled with it and it happened as we went. We wanted wood siding and, with the residences around us, we wanted something a little more homey more than just a regular old business building," Jessica said.
As far as the guessing game many have been playing about what would be occupying the space, Jessica has been getting a kick out of it. "I've had a lot of people say to me they thought it was going to be a church," she said with a chuckle.
"I have 11 agents counting myself that will be moving in there, so we're growing, for sure. We had three agents my first year then we've added over the years. This is not something we planned to do. That lot just came open and my husband, Daniel Jones, and I talked about it and we were afraid if we didn't jump on it, a spot like that would be hard to get in the future. Daniel has played a big role in putting this together and Josh Baker is our contractor. I took it from my head and told them what I wanted and Daniel and Josh have pretty much nailed it," Jessica said.
"We're maybe a month from being finished. Floors are going in, heat and air guys are there and we have the driveway marked out. We're hoping to be open this summer. We're really close," Jessica added. "I plan some open houses when it's done. I want our county to feel like they're invited."
Jones & Co. can be reached at (931) 808-8442.
Ascend Federal Credit Union first arrived in Warren County in December 2007 with a branch in Three Star Mall and has been in that location since. I've heard rumblings Ascend was on the move and reached out to the company and made contact with David Foster, senior account manager with the Dalton Agency which handles external PR efforts for Ascend.
David was extremely helpful and confirmed that, yes, Ascend will be leaving Three Star Mall and will be beginning construction on a new 3,500-square-foot building. While he couldn't yet provide a precise address, Dave told me, "the branch will be located on Hwy 70 S next to Dollar General and Bridge Builders Road" in Newtown.
I also heard from Jason Powers, Ascend's senior vice president of administration. Powers described the reasons for the upcoming departure from the mall. "We have outgrown our space there and we want to be able to continue to grow and serve our existing and new members in this market."
From the sounds of it, the new building will, indeed, provide Ascend more flexibility to grow with its customer base and to provide amenities not possible in its current location. "This new 3,500-square-foot facility will include five member service rooms, a tech/device bar for visitors to utilize, two ITMs, a greeter’s station with a fully functioning workspace and cash recycler, a coin machine in the lobby and a two-lane ITM/ATM drive-up," Powers said.
For those, like myself, who weren't exactly sure what an ITM is, it's an Interactive Teller Machine similar to an ATM but with a video screen and interactive elements which allows customers to talk to a live representative when needed.
Powers is appreciative of Ascend's Warren County customers and hopes they will appreciate the extra value provided when the new branch opens in Newtown. “As a long-time part of the McMinnville community, we have been serving members here for many years. Ascend is extremely grateful that customers continue to choose our credit union for their financial needs. We look forward to serving the businesses, individuals and families of Warren County and ensuring access to the financial products, tools, advice and resources needed to achieve their goals,” Powers said.
Powers told me the target is to open the new McMinnville location in the second quarter of 2024.
Until next time,
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It's been a productive time for local business news and I've already got some things lined up to bring you next week. Thanks for reading and keep the tips coming to email@example.com and (931) 473-2191.