Owners revamp legacy property on East Main Street

GoTo Plaza will be home to as many as 8 businesses

Megan Petersen
Farmington Daily Times
Construction continues Thursday at the new GoTo Plaza at 5100 E. Main St. in Farmington.
  • Durango Joe's just finished a remodel project at its 20th Street location.
  • The property owners say it was time to modernize a site that has been developed since the 1970s.
  • Business partners Kerwin Gober and Terry Tobey are opening a new 11,564-square-foot building.

FARMINGTON — An east-side property that was home for many years to a pet shop is getting an upgrade in the form of a new business plaza at 5100 E. Main St. in Farmington.

Property owners and business partners Kerwin Gober and Terry Tobey said a new 11,564-square-foot building will be home to as many as eight businesses, and they hope to fill the spaces with local businesses.

The business complex is called GoTo Plaza, a combination of Gober and Tobey’s shortened names, and construction is expected to be finished in late April, according to contractor Jeff Cillissen of B and M Cillissen Construction Co. Inc.

The two-story shell building includes a 2,600-square-foot space that also features a drive-thru lane that is routed under an upstairs outdoor patio.

“(The shop closest to the entrance will have) an elevated outdoor patio that will overlook the street and give you a place to hang out, drink coffee, watch some folks go by and enjoy the nice weather we often have,” Gober said at the construction site on Thursday.

Gober and Tobey, as well as Durango Joe's owner Joe Lloyd, said a coffee shop is in the works for that space, pending lease negotiations.

Property owners Kerwin Gober, left, and Terry Tobey join Jeffrey Cillessen, president of B & M Cillessen Construction Co. Inc. Thursday to talk about construction progress at the new GoTo Plaza in Farmington.

“You can tell by Durango Joe’s that we’re interested in local businesses,” Gober said. “We’re local, and this (property) has been locally owned forever, but if a national tenant wants to come in, we’ll talk with them, as well.”

Lloyd said the new location would be the regional chain’s fifth coffee shop in Farmington. He said the company has been waiting for the opportunity to expand to the east side of town.

“I’ve been wanting to expand to that side of town for 12 years,” Lloyd said on Friday, adding, “When this opportunity came about, it seemed to be the right place and right time.”

The new location isn’t the only project in Farmington that Durango Joe’s has been working on — the 20th Street coffee shop reopened on Feb. 18 after a 13-day interior and exterior remodel. Lloyd said the coffee shop has been in the space since 2005 and the building “needed a facelift.”

Jeffrey Cillessen, president of B & M Cillessen Construction Co. Inc., discusses some of the features of the new GoTo Plaza in Farmington on Thursday.

Lloyd also said he has plans to expand even more into New Mexico and add coffee shops in Albuquerque and Bernalillo in 2019.

Though Gober and Tobey declined to share the cost of GoTo Plaza, Gober said the finished project will represent several million dollars of investment in a property that’s been in the Gober and Tobey names for decades.

The men's families, who were close friends and business partners, bought the property in the early 1970s, Tobey said. The site used to be the home of a pet store called Fur, Fin and Feather that was established on the property in the 1970s.

Property owners Kerwin Gober, left, and Terry Tobey tour their construction site on Thursday at the new GoTo Plaza in Farmington.

Gober said the long-standing Fur, Fin and Feather owner retired in 2013, and Southwest Pet Supply moved into the building shortly afterward. When Southwest Pet Supply changed locations, the business partners saw an opportunity to modernize the property.

“Back in the '70s, this was out in the middle of nowhere,” Gober said. “There wasn’t much around, but the whole area has built up pretty significantly (since then), and this little piece kind of stood out like a sore thumb, not having been developed, so we felt like it was time to bring it up to the modern standards.”

Tobey said the pair talked about rebuilding for about a year before razing the old building and starting construction in the fall.

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or mpetersen@daily-times.com.