Down on the corner: New businesses heading to intersection of Ring Road, Dixie

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By Marty Finley

The intersection of Ring Road and North Dixie Avenue will witness some drastic changes during the next few months.

CVS Pharmacy aims to anchor its first Hardin County store on a lot obtained from Herb Jones Chevrolet, Buick and GMC while the FiveStar Food Mart across the street has closed and the property has been sold by Newcomb Oil to a Nashville developer.

Mike DeAngelis, director of public relations for CVS, said the company will start construction on a 13,225-square-foot facility on the corner of Ring Road and Dixie Avenue later this month with plans to open the store by the first quarter of 2014. A CVS location typically employs around 20 people, he said.

According to a property transfer, the company purchased the lot from the Herb Jones dealership for $2.1 million.

“We were attracted to this location in Elizabethtown because the intersection meets our criteria for new store locations: well-trafficked, high visibility and convenient access for customers, DeAngelis said in an email. CVS owns and operates more than 7,400 locations in the U.S. and 62 in Kentucky, he said.

Mark Jones, owner of the Herb Jones dealership, said the sale of the lot constituted more than an acre of property but the dealership has retained nearly four more acres to modernize its business and better accommodate customers.

Essentially, he said, the sale to CVS has allowed him to improve upon his facilities and has bought him a reputable neighbor with a built-in customer base.

“It should dress the corner up,” he said of the changes.

Jones said the company’s former service center and showroom will be removed and a roughly 30,000-square-foot facility will replace them with dual showrooms for its automobile brands and a new service center and service drive.

The first phase of the plan involved the construction of a 6,400-square-foot body shop that is nearly complete and contains an upgraded paint booth to benefit larger trucks, Jones said. He anticipates the new service center could be ready for use by late October while the showroom will be completed sometime next year barring bad weather or other delays.

The movement on the site and Herb Jones’ evacuation of the lot now owned by CVS has led some to believe the dealership is closing shop, but Jones said he intends to maintain his business throughout the construction process.

“We are open, and we are going to remain open,” he said.

Newcomb Oil, meanwhile, has offloaded its FiveStar Food Mart franchise at the intersection because it has underperformed over the years, said Laura Blair, public relations manager. Blair said Newcomb Oil is in the process of removing all of its inventory and equipment from the site and will dig out the underground tanks for removal.

Asked why the store had not met expectations, Blair said traffic patterns around the property gradually have changed, which appeared to impact customer flow.

Blair said the property on the corner was sold to Mark McDonald.

McDonald is part of Oldacre McDonald LLC, a full-service real estate firm in Nashville specializing in the development of shopping centers and single tenant buildings, according to the company’s website.

A call placed by The News-Enterprise Tuesday to McDonald’s office was not immediately returned, and Blair said she does not know what the intentions are for the property. It was not known Tuesday how much the property sold for.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.