By David Tuma, Publisher
All buildings in downtown Belton have hosted a variety of business over the past 100-plus years. The building at 204 Penelope might be better known for hosting Peacock Archery or one of the best BBQ joints around in the 1990’s.
Mike Gunter, Matt Gunter and Trevor Smith purchased the building last year with the plans to remodel the building and move Gunter Financial Services onto the property. The property is owned by a holding company, Gunter Real Estate Holdings, LLC. This investment into the community is part of a transformation of Belton after the brutal decades of decline in the 1970-90’s.
The concept is more than just a financial business. Retail business are the lifeblood of any community. After purchasing the old BJ’s Flowers building and renting it out to Bold Republic Brewing, the Gunters have an eye for what is important.
“We purchased the property and are taking it down to the shell. It is going to be an open air concept,” said Matt Gunter. Gunter Financial will encompass 3,000 sq. ft. of the building with five offices and two conference rooms. The front doors of the building will be in the same location. They will be changed to glass for Kaci Lee Cakery and Deli. The Cakery will take up 800 sq. ft. and have doors leading to the commons area and Penelope St. The open forum will be 12 ft. wide running down the middle of the building. On the south side of the building, there will be two separate exits added. The north side there will be double doors added to enter the commons area. This will give access to the building from the south, east and north.
There will also be 1,000 square feet of retail space or office space behind the Cakery. This space will have their own dedicated entrance from the North side. Restrooms will be added to the building. In the back south west side of the building, executive offices with a shared conference room will be added. This will take up 2,000 sq. ft.
The sides of the building will be restored with windows added on the south side. The building will be cleaned and repainted after it is restored. Metal awnings will be added and the roof cleaned. Orlowski Design Company is in charge of the project and will be renting one of the offies.
“It has been special. We have a lot of people come up to us and thank us for investing in Belton,” said Matt. “When we moved here in 1985, there were only a few business downtown. The building has strong bones. It just needs a face lift.”