Ellis Plaza, across the street from the Firley YMCA in Jefferson City, is getting a facelift and may soon house some new businesses.
Robby and Amanda Bax, through OED Properties LLC, purchased the property at 510, 512 and 520 Ellis Blvd. in August and have since pressure-washed and painted the buildings, as well as cut down dead and overgrown trees in the parking lot.
The Baxes, who own Bax Homeworks, plan to replant trees, restripe the parking lot, update the landscaping, and add LED lighting under the canopies and in the parking lot. They are also contemplating reroofing some of the buildings.
The property was in disrepair when they purchased the building, Robby Bax said, but the plaza "made sense" — it's easily accessible, and it's in an area that is rebuilding itself following the May 22 tornado.
"It was a chance for us to improve the area, especially after the storm," he said. "It's a chance for that whole side of Jefferson City to bring itself back to life."
The plaza's signage and some soffits were damaged during the tornado, so the Baxes are in the process of repairing those, Robby Bax said.
There are four vacant units in the Ellis Plaza, including where Hook's Double Play Sports Bar was before it closed in July. The Baxes don't anticipate those spaces staying empty for long, as they are currently working with some businesses to fill the vacancies.
Robby Bax said they hope the plaza will be at full occupancy by spring.
"When you lease at a plaza that has local owners, you're going to get a lot better care than you would from some big investment group that's not even from the area," he said. "We have a vested interest because we care about our city."
Robby Bax said he is not ready to announce what businesses might move into the plaza yet.
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