RC Corner Plaza plans to open May 1 in downtown Harlan
HARLAN -- Years ago, Tony Carter reminisced with his father, Ron, as they walked around the downtown Harlan square. Ron told Tony how he remembered the downtown buildings looking and what businesses used to be in which building as he was growing up. They talked about multiple buildings and making improvements.
After he retired, Ron would assist Tony with his businesses by helping out and if needed running errands. Ron passed away in 2019. Two years later, Tony is honoring his dad by establishing RC Corner Plaza at 524 Market Street in downtown Harlan.
“It made me think and decide if some day I could, I would try to help bring these buildings back to a good life. Several business around the square have already done a great job of renovating and restoring their buildings,” said Tony.
Tony’s business, TC Rentals LLC, purchased the former Wild Willie’s building on the northeast corner of the square in downtown Harlan last summer. He and his crew began mid-December gutting the building and taking the bar out for a complete overall interior remodel.
“This has been a complete restore from top to bottom. From a complete new roof to everything inside being completely removed and started over. The building needed some tender loving care. We removed all the interior walls down to the block walls. We got it down to a bare structure,” said Tony.
Tony said his crew has done a fantastic job, especially on an almost impossible tight deadline. The plaza can accommodate eight potential businesses with five rooms upstairs and three rooms on the lower level. Tony has three businesses 100 percent already committed to the plaza.
So far the plaza will be home to Cambridge Investments (Mick Allen); Thrive Occupational Therapy - Health and Wellness PLLC - Erica Stevens; and Bella Grace Salon - Kelsey Bruck. The building will also house men’s and women’s restrooms, separate employee bathrooms as well as a lounge area with a big screen television.
“(The) building has a good size lounge area for customers to sit and relax if they’re waiting for family or friends during shopping or while customers are being attended to. There will be a few small tables for 2 or 4 to also sit at on the main level and lower level,” said Tony.
“It will be a great place to sit especially if a small ice cream shop or cookie /donut coffee shop were to come in.”
Tony said this project was the biggest renovation to date by his company. There are several buildings now that needed repaired, and some life has been brought back to them. Many of these businesses will also be getting a facade face lift with the help of the Harlan grant system this summer.
Some of Tony’s other renovation projects have included 1005 7th Street - Perception Photography, 1017 and 1013 7th Street building - Western Central Community Action, 1013 7th Street - The Furniture Hookup Store, 1023 7th St formerly Due North, 713 Court St. - Shante’s Salon, and 1014 Morning View - currently leased to Myrtue Medical Center Behavioral Health.
He also is very appreciative of those who have helped him with his current plaza project.
“We have some other great contractors helping on this project: Joey Petsche - Petsche Mechanical, Jeff Chamberlain - Chamberlain Cabinetry and Construction, Western Iowa Spray Foam, Mrs. C. Home Decor, Avoca Lumber, Baxter Lumber, United Bank of Iowa, and Nelson & Son’s Glass. Without these great businesses/people these renovations would not have been possible. My thanks to them all,” said Tony.
Tony sees potential in every building he buys. He says there is a lot of potential for future businesses to occupy the plaza. Plans are to have RC Corner Plaza open by May 1.
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