Restoration of shopping center under way
Restoration of the Basehor shopping center is under way. A gaping hole where Bichelmeyer's Grocery Store was located can be seen from the highway.
And while Bichelmeyer's, or any other grocery store will not be coming back to that location, at least two new businesses will, said Debbie Breuer, who along with her husband Dennis, Tonganoxie residents, own the shopping center.
Breuer said Mr. Goodcents Subs and Pasta and a liquor store would open locations at the shopping center when construction to the damaged building is completed.
Jim and Cathy Breuer will own the liquor store.
A Dec. 15 fire destroyed the shopping center, 155th Street and Kansas Highway 24/40, Dec. 15.
Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) said the fire was set deliberately.
It caused a reported $1 million worth of damage to the building and its contents, investigators said.
The case is still an open investigation and no arrests have been made.
"We haven't heard anything at all, it's still open," Debbie Breuer said.
The fire severely damaged the shopping center's roof.
"We're having to put a whole new roof on the building," Breuer said.
The fire also hurt the couple's insurance rating for the shopping center. It's now almost uninsurable, Breuer said.
"We'll pay extremely high insurance for the next three years," she said.
Currently, the sub shop and liquor store are the only businesses that have agreed to locate to the shopping center, although several more have expressed interest.
Breuer said those businesses include a beauty shop, an attorney's office, a dry cleaner and other restaurants.
Construction on the shopping center is being done by Vineyard Construction of Overland Park and is expected to be completed in the next three to four months.
When completed, the shopping center will be roughly the same size it is now.
The parking lot to the shopping center will also be improved. Upon completion, the parking lot will have approximately 140 stalls.