GENEVA – State Street Jewelers is planning to move to the former Merra-Lee Shop son the corner of State and Third streets at 230 W. State St. in Geneva.
The five Merra-Lee Shops closed at the end of 2011. Michael Simon, who owns the Merra-Lee Shops and the Little Traveler, was unavailable for comment.
Store manager Martha Sanchez said there was no timeframe for the move, but store officials were working to finalize plans. The store is moving from its 214 W. State St. location.
“It’s in the works – we are moving to the Merra-Lee Shops corner at Third and State,” Sanchez said. “And we’re really excited. It’s a beautiful spot with nice visibility. And we’re really looking forward to being part of Third Street and State Street.”
Once State Street Jewelers occupies the Third and State corner, it will be across from Perlman Fine Jewelry, which moved to the Erday building, at 301 W. State St. Perlman fills the vacancy left by Kiss The Sky.
Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns said the addition of State Street Jewelers “single-handedly rejuvenates that corner.”
“I’m as excited as Ms. Sanchez and Mr. Simon are regarding their move to Third and State,” Burns said. “It’s a prime spot – it’s beyond prime. … State and Third is the crossroads of our downtown.”
Burns said the well-established jewelry store’s move a few doors west “symbolizes not only their faith in the promise of the downtown, but reinforces the power of that intersection in terms of retail.”
State Street Jewelers had been at its current building for 13 years, Sanchez said, but originally was in the building next door where Town and Country Gardens is located.
The business moved for more space, she said. Before it was State Street Jewelers, it was Anderson Jewelers.
“We have been in business more than 27 years as State Street Jewelers, and we were Anderson Jewelers for about 30 years before that,” Sanchez said. “In 1985, owners Donna Zollner and Jeffrey Hampton turned it into State Street Jewelers.”
Not only is Perlman located on the opposite corner, but across the street is Fox Jewelers, 307 W. State St., and down Third Street is Matson Jewelry, 312 S. 3rd St., a cluster of retail fine jewelry.
“There is something to be said for critical mass,” Burns said. “A lot of successful downtowns have a multitude of similar opportunities. Shoppers do not spend all day going from one place to another – they want to focus their time and energies on things in close proximity.”
For Sanchez, the proximity of other jewelry stores is a positive thing.
“If you want to buy jewelry,” Sanchez said, “Geneva is the place to go.”