Goings On with Grant: Masonic Temple being repaired for possible new tenant

Grant McLaughlin

The conspicuous presence of scaffolding and construction workers since last week at the former Masonic Temple on Main Street has generated a lot of buzz in Columbus.

Turns out the summer construction on the building at 326 Main Street is reminiscent of a winter storm.

Snow and ice storms damaged the roof in February 2021 while renovations to the ground floor of the building were underway for a tenant in the neighborhood grocery market, the landlord said. building, David Gooch. The winter weather also caused leaks and damage to the interior.

Gooch is in talks with another commercial tenant for the property and hopes the repairs will be complete by the fall, but further damage assessments will be needed once the roof is complete, he said.

“I hope that all of this can be resolved by the fall. Obviously, I would love to have a tenant,” Gooch said.

There’s nothing quite like watching a TV show that features parts of your hometown.

On that note, International Paper’s Columbus plant was featured on Mike Rowe’s “How America Works,” a show featuring people who work to keep America’s infrastructure alive. The episode aired Monday night on FOX Business.

The episode was described in a press release as an in-depth look at day-to-day operations in one of America’s oldest industries – the pulp and paper business – featuring employees Janice Buckhalter, operations technician; Bo Dyer, Shift Technician and Plant Manager David Phillips.

You know, there comes a time when we all move into our dream home. This is the case of Josh Read and his team at Edward Jones Financial Advising. They moved from their original office at 115 Fifth St. N. to their new location in the Fashion Barn building just across Main Street.

Read purchased the building after a long time considering the size of the space and what he and his team needed. He plans to lease much of the building to interested commercial tenants after doing some additional renovations to the space.

“I wish your startup or small business existed and wanted more space,” Read said.

Y’all, nothing reminds me more that it’s summer than the broken air conditioner in my car. Luckily, it looks like I’m not the only one who’s overly aware of temperatures over 90 degrees.

Rapid Auto Service, an auto repair shop located at 1121 Gardner Blvd. in Columbus has seen an increase in air conditioning repairs since the start of the summer. Rapid Auto opened on May 1 and has seen a steady increase in business.

“Probably from month one to month two, we’ve at least doubled, maybe even tripled,” said co-owner Terry McCool.

According to McCool, the company sees about 15 to 20 people a week coming in for air conditioning repairs.

In the Golden Triangle, AT&T has partnered with Intrado, a telecommunications company, to provide faster, more accurate information to 9-1-1 call centers, also known as answering points. public safety, using GPS and hybrid information from wireless 911 calls.

Calls can now be located from a distance of 50 meters. Prior to launch, wireless calls were routed based on cell tower locations, which can cover a 10-mile radius. This distance could cause delays in emergency response, especially when calls are made in border areas where state, county or city borders overlap.

Moving on to Starkville, my chance to get real Venezuelan food has unfortunately been put on hold as Arepas moves from 213 East Main St. to its new location in the former Commodore Bob building at 102 Rue Du Grande Fromage , in the Cotton District .

“Our clients are generally younger and that’s where they end up. So it’s a good location,” said restaurant owner Jose Elarba.

Elarba has expressed excitement about the move and expects to be moved in and open in early August. Today is the last day before the restaurant opens on Main Street.

And finally, the Pita Pit at 104 W. Main St. in Starkville is temporarily closed after the company was acquired by new owners. Former store manager Christine Abigail Carver spoke about the change in a Facebook post on Starkville Strong’s page.

“We enjoyed all the late-night fun and all the good everyday conversation. This place meant the world to me and to my staff,” Carver said.

No information on the new owners could be found at press time, but the restaurant is expected to reopen in a few weeks, and a hiring announcement has been posted on the Pita Pit Starkville Facebook page.

Well, that’s it for this week’s events. See you next week with more business updates!

Dispatch reporter Grant McLaughlin writes about business openings and closings, as well as other unique business news. Send business advice to [email protected].

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