by Ivan Foley
Some changes are in the air in the Platte City business community, including the fact Apple Market is closing its doors soon and Wells Bank in the coming months will be moving out of its longtime location in downtown Platte City.
The Apple Market grocery store this week confirmed what The Landmark reported last week: the store is closing for good. Officials this week said the store will close its doors prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.
In a related move, Martin Midwest Real Estate, which owns the High Pointe Shops strip mall in which Apple Market is located along Hwy. 92 near Marshall Road, has announced Wells Bank will be expanding into the spot being vacated by Apple Market.
Wells Bank currently operates two locations, including at the corner of Third and Main in downtown Platte City and a second location at 1100 Branch, right next to the Apple Market store. Officials say the move will allow Wells Bank to consolidate its two Platte City locations and invest in one larger facility.
The bank will extensively remodel the space in which Apple Market has been located, adding modern features and providing more convenience for its customers. The bank will consolidate its two Platte City locations into the spot formerly occupied by Apple Market.
Rob Barmann, chief executive officer for Wells Bank, says the bank will continue to own the building it currently occupies next to the strip mall.
“We will retain ownership of that one and look for how best to utilize it,” Barmann remarked.
The downtown building, however, is another story.
“We will be hoping to get it occupied,” he said, explaining that the bank will no longer operate a branch at Third and Main once the construction of the new combined location in the strip mall is completed.
Barmann was non-committal on whether the bank would continue to own the Third and Main building after vacating it or would be looking to sell it.
According to Paxton’s Annals, the well-known book of Platte County history, Wells Bank has operated a location in downtown Platte City since 1879. At that time the bank operated from a location that is now known as the Farley Law Office building at the northwest corner of Third and Main.
In 1934, Wells Bank moved to the southeast corner of Third and Main and has operated from that location since that time.
The Third and Main building was completely renovated by the bank in 2005, Barmann said.
Barmann said the bank wanted to keep its headquarters in Platte City.
“It’s a good employment base,” he said.
Barmann said the bank will begin construction at the new location “in the spring and it will take us 6-9 months” to complete it. Among the changes will be an expanding the drive-through “for convenience and quicker turnaround time,” he said.
“We were needing space at both locations and have made the decision to combine both them,” Barmann said.
He said when the Apple Market space became available the bank made the decision to move there. The space will allow more room for future growth in the number of employees, he said.
“Once we learned that the new location would become available, we quickly made plans for this expansion. Wells Bank is a community bank and Platte County has always been very supportive. It is that continual support which now dictates this move,” Barmann added.
Heath Martin of Martin Midwest Real Estate Services said the deal “seemed like a mutually beneficial proposal.”
When asked if the deal between the bank and Martin Midwest is a lease or a sale/purchase of the space, Martin said he wasn’t yet sure how the transaction would be labeled.
The Apple Market store is operated by Sharp’s Market Incorporated. Sharp’s Market will continue to operate its grocery stores in Weston and Atchison, with their original Sharp’s Market store in Weston and Alps Foods in Atchison.
Barmann said Wells Bank is a $200 million bank with locations in Platte City, Kansas City, Maryville, Savannah and Oregon, Mo.