Braum’s planning to move in the next year or so

Neosho is one step closer to getting a discount grocer at the old Neosho Inn location at the intersection of Highways 59 and 60.

According to Mike Franks, who is chief executive officer of the Neosho Area Business and Industrial Foundation, Inc. (NABIFI), Aldi has not yet closed on the location with property owner Bob Foster, but it is expected to happen soon.

“I think it is going to happen, but since they haven’t closed yet, we aren’t 100 percent sure,” said Franks, addressing members of the Newton County Economic Development Commission on Tuesday, March 22, during their quarterly meeting.

Foster has done his part in gutting the inn and getting it ready for demolition and it is supposedly up to Aldi to tear the building down when they close.

“Aldi has put a lot of work into this location. I really think it’s almost a down deal,” said Franks.

In addition to being closer to getting an Aldi store, Braum’s also has plans to move its location.

“Braum’s has bought the old Show Me Signs building on the Neosho Boulevard and has plans to move to that location in the next year or so,” said Franks. “We haven’t gotten very many details on it yet, we just know that Braum’s has purchased that building and plans to leave their current location (also on the Boulevard) and go across the street.”

According to Franks, Braum’s is wanting to expand its fresh market area and upgrade their building as a whole.

Other items covered at the economic development meeting include:


• Dollar General is now open for business on the Boulevard.

• Shoe Sensation is a new business going in next to Save-A-Lot and is currently hiring employees. They are planning a May 11 grand opening.

• NABIFI hired a retail consultant company named Buxton to accelerate retail growth locally.

“We have had it for a couple of months and have already had meetings with them about data, and they have given us a list of businesses to try to reach out to,” said Franks.

• The Carver Schoolhouse in Neosho has been gutted down to bare bones to resemble what the schoolhouse was really like when George Washington Carver actually attended it.

“Several organizations have come together to restore this schoolhouse and it isn’t quite finished yet. There is still a need of $60-80,000 to completely bring it back to a period-correct structure,” said Franks.


• Diamond is still working on the American Legion project at the courthouse.

“We are about two-thirds of the way done. We have the plaque for the courthouse but are still needing $500-600 more,” said Dale Privett, Diamond resident.

A presentation is planned on Memorial Day, May 29, at 2:30 p.m. at the Diamond High School commons area and the public is invited.


• The fiber optic project is back underway in Granby and the plan is to have everything outside the city done within a year or so.

“The EPA is still a big presence in town and they say it will be another year or two before all the roads get fixed,” said Barry Flint, chairman of the economic development commission.

• Heavenly Notions, a quilting shop, is moving to a new location and there is a new tattoo shop going into its old location.

• The Tree House is closing and will be liquidating everything.

“The Tree House has been in our community for several years and we are sad to see them go,” said Flint.


• Josh Dodson, representing Seneca, reported Michael Steele, with the Seneca Area Chamber of Commerce, had asked him to stay on as the Seneca representative to the economic development meetings.

“I don’t have much to do with Seneca anymore. I live in Neosho and I’ve been working with the Neosho chamber, so my report is from Steele,” said Dodson.

Dodson reported that Seneca is “stale” and has not been very active in retail growth. He also asked that his personal opinions on Seneca’s growth not be published in the paper.

“Seneca just lost another flea market, and there was a possibility of a hardware store going in, but they backed out,” said Dodson.

There was another wreck on the new roundabout and a semi-tractor was totaled, going too fast, according to Dodson.

“There is also word that more apartment complexes are going to be built behind Dairy Queen soon,” said Dodson.


Charla Geller, Newton County Emergency Management director, attended the meeting and gave a brief update of what she and the emergency management office are working on.

“The mayor of Stella has contacted me wanting an outdoor warning system, so we will be meeting with him to work with him on that,” said Geller.

The next economic development meeting will be held on May 16.

By Mattie Link


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