Local ice cream parlor Lofty Pursuits is leaving Market Square. The shop is the latest in a number of businesses to leave after a Texas company bought the shopping complex.
For more than 20 years, Market Square has housed dozens of homegrown businesses. But since a Dallas-based developer bought the complex in January, local establishments have been closing down or moving out. Lofty Pursuits Owner Greg Cohen says lack of communication about future plans and possible rent hikes has spurred the exodus.
“Shaw’s Shoes has closed. Old Town Café has closed. Killearn Antiques has closed. King House Chinese restaurant has closed. The barber shop has closed. Frontrow Salon has closed, the nail shop has closed, the florist has closed. And that’s just in the one building! There's more vacancies than open spaces,” he said.
Cohen initially planned to stay put, but found it difficult to expand his business under the new management.
“I’ve been wanting to renovate it, but when you don’t know what’s happening in your building and you know you’re going to be relocated, do you want to put the investment in something you might tear out in a couple of weeks? Well now I have the opportunity to do things right,” he said.
Cohen will be moving across the street from Market Square in October, and plans on serving breakfast and expanding his candy-making operation. Cohen says Lofty Pursuits will remain open throughout the transition.