Marion business closes after proposed library plan never came to fruition
Business owners at Village Needlework say they are frustrated after having to close their business, claiming it was because of confusion over plans for a new library.
This comes after several businesses in the Marion Square Plaza shopping area tell KCRG-TV9 that they've closed their doors or have relocated their business because of the same confusion.
“It was a really tough decision because we've been in business for ten years and trying to say goodbye to all of our friends we made in the business is very hard," Joan Ackerman, owner of Village Needlework, said.
Ackerman said they found out about the proposal for the library around three years ago and were told they would have to relocate by the company that previously owned the plaza.
“We went about trying to find a new location to move to, and because of the expense of moving all of our things, it just was not feasible to move,” Ackerman said.
That eventually forced them to decide to close their doors, even though the plans for a library accompanied by commercial and residential components never came to fruition.
“Just not knowing and the length of time it’s taken for them to drag it out was difficult,” Ackerman said. “I think a lot of it was because they were unsure of what they were going to do."
Lon Pluckhahn, Marion's city manager, said two major law changes were the reason for the failed proposal, particularly the change to the state's lease-purchasing law.
"It made our piece of the project have to go through a conventional bidding process," Pluckhahn said. "When you are part of a building with someone else and you start introducing multiple contractors, multiple subcontractors, it just made the project impossible to do."
Since then, the plaza has sat nearly vacant. Tomaso's Pizza will be relocating in the near future as well.
Hannah Kustes, a spokesperson for the company that owns the property, Genesis Equities, said the Village Needlework closure was unintended and unfortunate.
A spokesperson also told us the lot behind the plaza is being redeveloped and that is where the library is now being proposed to move.
A full statement from the company is below: