Business feature: Building to return to roots

By Eric Butler: PNT Staff Writer

The one-time location for a J.C. Penney store in Portales is going back to its roots in a sense — clothing will be the main product once again.

Suzi Webb is renovating the old store at 109 S. Main St., next door to Valley Furniture.

Webb hopes to open “The Main Place” in August. She plans to offer children’s clothes, bridal wear and a place for people to sell their own crafts.

The site has seen a vast array of businesses come and go in the last 30 years.

For the past 15 years, David Stone of Portales National Bank has owned the site. Under his watch, the store was a mini-mall, a health store, a youth center for a local Baptist church and a former location for the Bread Basket, which has since move down the street to 123 S. Main St.

Stone said he thought this business would stick.

“She (Webb) does a lot of business on the Internet,” he said. “She once bought the Saga Motel, had a business there and sold it to someone who wanted it more than she did.

“I think it’ll be a success,” he added.

Webb’s first memories of the building were from the late 1970s when it was known as Turner’s, the immediate successor to J.C. Penney’s.

Compared to her previous project of renovating the Saga Motel into a viable home for a business, Webb said that the current project of fixing up this site is much easier.

“It was an old, nasty motel. We re-did it and put a children’s store in there before we sold that building,” Webb, 35, said. “Now we’re looking to move our children’s store back to town, but we’re expanding into a full bridal store, too.”

Her current home-based business is called Webb Direct 2U, which Webb describes as a retailer for Amazon.com. When thoughts turned toward expanding the line of products, and establishing a physical site once again, Webb said the answer came directly to her.

“I was praying about it, and God showed it to me,” she said of the building.

In addition to the increase in her stock of children’s apparel and an emphasis on bridal wear, Webb said she plans to use the upstairs area as a crafter’s mall.

“It’s a very, very large building, and I’ve always loved this building. We’ll do a grand opening, hopefully, on Aug. 1,” Webb said. “It’s coming very quickly, but that’s our target date. We’re very excited about it.”