Columbia Antique Mall Could Close Soon

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COLUMBIA - The Market Place antique store on Business Loop 70 West will have a meeting on Feb. 11 which will decide whether the store closes. The store features several antique booths and a cafe.

During the meeting The Market Place owner Ron Sterchi will meet with the Columbia Board of Adjustment and said he hopes it will grant him a variance. If the variance is approved The Market Place would leave the building and Ferguson Plumbing and Supply would move in.

The Market Place's door opened 12 years ago and has had a loyal costumer base ever since. The Market Place houses 150 mid-Missouri vendors.

Sterchi said he gave his antique dealers three months notice the business may be closing.

Nearby vendor Dorthamae Patrick has been working with owner Ron Sterchi since 1996. Patrick said the Market Place has become like a family to her.

"All the people got really close because we are here all the time," Patrick said. "I'm here everyday, and it's like home. It's always sad to leave."

Owner Ron Sterchi said the possibility of the store closing has already started to hurt business.

If Ferguson Plumbing and Supply moves in, Sterchi said it plans to put in a fence around the four acres behind the store for outdoor storage.