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South County Getting Three New Businesses for the Price of Two

What do insurance, IHOP and cruises all have in common? They're all making a presence in South County.

Mehlville residents can rejoice in pancake heaven.

A new International House of Pancakes is slated to open in the old El Pollo Loco location at 4103 Lemay Ferry Road.

According to John Watson of the St. Louis County Department of Public Works, building permits were issued at the end of June and sign permits were issued about two weeks ago.

The sign is in place and the final phase of construction is underway.

The new IHOP is expected to be open in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, Oakville residents may be curious about the recently-built structure at 6685 Telegraph Road. From the outside, the building resembles an atrium ranch home, but a freshly laid blacktop driveway with bright, white painted parking spaces says otherwise.

In fact, the building, which became occupied at the end of May, houses two area businesses, both run by Leona Greeves.

On the main floor is IPMG, an insurance wholesale company, of which Greeves is the Vice President of Brokerage Services.

Around the back, separated by its own entrance, is Cruise Planners, a travel business specializing in cruises of all kinds. Greeves is the owner of the independently-operated business.

“You wouldn’t believe how many people drive in here. They go around back and just come right back out,” Greeves said. “It has drawn a lot of curiosity.”

The process began nearly two years ago. Greeves had previously been renting space for a prior insurance wholesale business that she owned and was looking for a permanent location.

In a twist of fate, IPMG, which is based in Chicago, was looking for a St. Louis presence. They approached Greeves with a business opportunity. She sold her share to her partner and went to work for IPMG in the very building she was having constructed.

A long-time Oakville resident, she wanted to be close to home, but she was also sensitive to how area neighbors would react to a commercial business so far down Telegraph Road, where residential living is the norm.

Prior to becoming the new home of IPMG, the 1.3-acre lot housed a dilapidated eyesore.

“We tried to design the building so that it would be something that would be nice for this area,” Greeves said. “Not a lot of high-rise, commercial-looking buildings would appeal to these surroundings.”

After two years of county licensing and permits, rezoning and infrastructure such as adding sewers, Greeves is hopeful that the nearly 4,000 square-foot building, which includes both upper and lower levels, is something that is pleasing to the neighbors.

“I hope they can see that the idea was to improve this small area and hopefully improve the property values,” Greeves said.

James Ford August 20, 2011 at 07:30 PM
It is good to see new businesses coming to South County, especially during the great recession.

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