The shopping center on Constitution Drive, just south of Target, will be getting its first new tenant soon when The Music Shoppe relocates from its current space on Stevenson Drive in Springfield. The family-owned business is recently under new ownership as well.
“I took over as of Sept. 1, and I’m the third generation,” said Jonathon Breen. “It was my grandparents who started the business. My uncle, Randy Wood, has been running the business for the past 45 years. He’s still working and helping as part of the transition but will be retiring in 2019.” While he has now taken on a new role, Breen is no stranger to the music business. He explained, “I grew up around the business but left to work for Yamaha and had been there for the last 15 years.”
The Music Shoppe is based out of Bloomington-Normal, where the original location opened in 1961. In 1989, a second location opened in Champaign-Urbana. Then three years ago, a Springfield location was added after The Music Shoppe purchased Daddy O’s Music Shack.
Since then, The Music Shoppe has been operating out of Daddy O’s previous location at 1405 Stevenson Dr., but Breen said that expansion plans have been in the works. “We’ve been looking at the Constitution Drive space for quite some time and finally came to an agreement with the terms of the lease. They’re in the process now of doing the build out. We don’t have an official move date yet, but we’re talking about the early part of February,” he said.
The Constitution Drive strip center has been vacant since 2013 when major tenants Carpet Weavers and Friar Tuck both moved to other locations. Earlier this year, Springfield Business Journal reported that local businessman Ram Talluri had purchased the property at auction for $700,000 with plans to renovate it. (https://springfieldbusinessjournal.com/2018/01/constitution-drive-strip-center-sold/)
Talluri recently constructed the adjacent storage units as well as a small strip center across the street that is now home to Gypsy Soul and Little Lincoln’s Toys. He is also the franchisee for the nearby Sky Zone.
The Music Shoppe plans to occupy approximately 6000 square feet of the north portion of the building. “That’s the primary reason for the move, expansion,” said Breen. “It will give us a considerably larger retail footprint. We’ll also be adding lesson studios.”
Store manager Doug Antonacci is a life-long Springfield resident and previously managed Daddy O’s. “He’s been a fantastic part of the team and will be at the epicenter of our expansion,” said Breen. “The Springfield market is a really solid one for us, and we’re excited about the opportunity to move. We’ve been fortunate to have good growth in this market.”