Le Grand couple opens ‘Treasures’ in Kibbey Building

Brian Peters, co-owner of Treasures, 127 E. Main St., said it is convenient to tell customers what the business is not.

“We are not a pawn shop, we are not a second-hand store and we do not buy gold,” Peters said of downtown’s newest business, which opened Monday.

The consignment-based store does offer quality antiques – some personally purchased by Peters – books, china, collectibles, dolls, furniture, paintings and more.

“We have items for sale from $1 to $1,800,” he said.

Joining Peters in the venture is spouse, Liz Peters of Le Grand. Connie Peterson, a friend of the couple, will manage the store.

The store occupies the former Subway Restaurant location. The Peters cleaned and painted extensively before opening.

Brian said they opened the business to help pay expenses while they work on long-term planning for the Kibbey Building complex, 125-131 E. Main St.

The Peters purchased the large, two-story property from Shari and Dwayne Retting recently.

In February, 2012, a fire severely damaged the adjoining building at 135 E. Main St. Smoke and other factors from the nearby fire forced Kibbey tenants the Caring Center, Subway, Baby Mama and Kanine Klips to close or move elsewhere.

The property remained vacant for a period and “was within two weeks of being demolished” until the Peters finalized the sale.

“My wife and I did not want to see a historic downtown building torn down,” Peters said. “The Kibbey building is structurally sound. The only fire-related damage was when a hole was put in a wall by an accident during demolition of the building next door at 135 E. Main. The wall has been repaired. The Kibbey building is a real gem … a show piece for downtown.”

Peters said the building was built in “either 1889 or 1894” and at one time was home to professional offices on the second floor and retail shops at street level.

If all goes as planned, the new Kibbey floor plan will have apartments on the second floor and retail shops below.

The Peters have commissioned architect Kirk Blunck of Knowles-Blunck Architecture of Des Moines to assist.

“The firm has extensive experience in historic preservation,” said Peters. “And we will be exploring use of preservation funds among other sources to make this project show a profit. We understand such routes require a significant commitment of time, but we are prepared to do whatever is necessary.”

The Peters previously owned and operated Haven restaurant, 12 N. First St., with Dan Carnahan.

Haven was open from March, 2010 to October, 2012.

City Administrator Randy Wetmore was complimentary of the Peters and others who have invested in downtown.

“We are fortunate to have business people who view downtown properties as positive ventures,” he said. “Sale of the Kibbey building prevented it from being demolished, which then would have created two large gaps (in that block) that could have taken years or even decades to see new development.”

The Peters are the third party recently to either purchase landmark downtown property or announce plans to develop housing and retail opportunities in the central business district.

CommonBond Communities of Minneapolis-St. Paul took possession of the Tallcorn Towers apartments, 134 E. Main St., in January.

After extensive remodeling is completed, the not-for-profit corporation will lease apartments and street-level space for retailers.

Project completion is 2014.

Dan Kester of Marshalltown announced plans earlier this month to renovate the building at 119 E. Main St, assuming Tax Increment Financing is available to help fund the effort.

Kester said he wishes to move his family into the upstairs, which following rehabilitation, would be a livable apartment.

Treasures is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, contact 641-328-1347 or kibbeybuilding.com