Ozark business embraces new normal after building next door collapses

Ozark, Missouri (KY3) – Part of a building on Ozark Plaza collapsed in late December and more collapsed Friday morning.

Tish Wade is the owner of the Heart of Grace Boutique shop next door. She said it was surreal.

“Oh my god, that can’t be true,” Wade said.

Wade said her store was empty when the building collapsed in late December. Firefighters said several people were in the coffee shop when the walls began to collapse.

“You worry about everyone in there because it’s a coffee shop, so they open early,” Wade said. “It’s crazy.”

Wade said she had to move everything, but the community came to help.

“The Enchanted Parlor graciously offered me her building, so we’re there for now,” Wade said.

Wade said they were crossing the street at the other corner of the plaza and all the help was a dream.

“It’s a blessing; it’s the coolest thing ever,” Wade said.

The Historic River District in the Ozark could help more, which would boost the development of the historic Ozark Plaza.

Ozark Historic River District President Tim Bartholomew wants to help in any way he can.

“We are currently looking at grant opportunities to help with future construction and restoration and preservation of some of the older buildings here,” Bartholomew said.

Bartholomew said it was hard to watch now.

“This is heartbreaking for business owners, property owners and the community as a whole,” Bartholomew said.

He said he wanted the historical style to return.

“I want it to be rebuilt so that it matches the historic charm of the area,” Bartholomew said.

Wade said there are a lot of unanswered questions.

“We did love our original building; we loved the owner of the building,” Wade said. “There’s just a lot of open questions about it. The community is really great.”

Wade said her pop-up store could open next week.

KY3 contacted the owners of the collapsed building but has yet to hear from them.

A City of Ozark spokesman said no other buildings on the plaza will be inspected after the collapse; owners will have to do it themselves.

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