Drive-in property becomes commercial rental space

Posted August 29, 2019 at 3:35 pm

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By Julie Ann Madden

Roger and Angela Price, of Akron, S.D., are the new owners of the former Dean’s Dugout restaurant at 401 Depot St. in Akron.

While many may have thought reopening a drive-in restaurant there was the perfect business idea, that part of the property’s history will remain only a memory.

“When it first went up for sale, I thought that would make a nice commercial office rental space with high visibility,” said Angela Price, who also owns Akron Gold & Silver, Price Auction Company and several other residential rental properties in Akron. “But, if someone wants to do a food place, I’ll wait to see if someone local wants to buy it.”

“Six months later that never happened,” she told The Akron Hometowner, “so I went, looked at it, made an offer…we’re really happy with the property.”

“It’s a great location for any type of business but I don’t believe a drive-in is viable anymore for here,” said Angela. “The reason is we have three places that serve ice cream and five that serve meals — not counting you can buy groceries at Maynard’s Foods and Dollar General. The days for that drive-in have passed.”

“In my opinion, it comes down to that there is too much competition to have a viable drive-in,” she said. “That’s why most drive-ins are gone in the much smaller towns.”

“Something had to be done or that building would have been falling in,” said Angela. “I think it’s critical to make sure that (Iowa Highway 12) corridor through Akron is attractive to people to attract more business to town,” said Angela. “So hopefully having this one aesthetically pleasing, it’ll draw additional business to town.”

“It’s not good for any building to set vacant,” she said. “It doesn’t help the town as a whole if a building sets empty for long periods of time. There are plenty of entrepreneurs and businesses who want the startup in small, inexpensive locations.”

“It’s going to be a great location for whatever business goes in there,” said Angela. “I’ve had at least four commercial businesses express interest in the property — from a realtor to an artist studio.”

“But before I decide who to rent it to, I need to get the property cleaned up,” she said.

Many may have noticed that work started last week with exterior landscaping and interior cleanup.

“We’re keeping the building’s exterior — from a historical point, there’s a lot of memories with the look of that building but the interior needs gutted,” said Angela. “We’ve tore all the (interior) damaged stuff out already.”

“All local craftsmen are doing the updates needed for a current rental property,” she said. “Steve Wilcox is doing the electrical; Steve Carlson, the plumbing and heating; Rich Moffatt, tree cleanup; and Klave Construction, roof replacement and remodeling.”

“As for the business, I haven’t determined who I’m going to rent to yet,” said Angela, “but I’m sure it will be a great asset to Akron.

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