<div style="text-align: left;">Carroll businessman Pat Macke stands in front of the former Cork &amp;&nbsp; Bottle store, located near the intersection of U.S. Highways 71 and 30. The store is being renovated into a premium Verizon retailer. Daily Times Herald photos by Jeff Storjohann</div>
Carroll businessman Pat Macke stands in front of the former Cork &  Bottle store, located near the intersection of U.S. Highways 71 and 30. The store is being renovated into a premium Verizon retailer. Daily Times Herald photos by Jeff Storjohann
An investment group that includes a local couple has purchased the former Cork & Bottle building and plans to open a personal-and-commercial telecommunications business at the location as soon as February.
In an interview Thursday, Pat Macke of Carroll, a co-owner with wife, Jen, of Pen Communications, said the Select Communications store, 1004 U.S. Highway 71 North, will be a full-service, premium retailer for Verizon Communications. Smartphones and tablets will be part of the state-of-the-art inventory.
“I see an enormous opportunity here and I always have,” Macke said.
Macke said local contractors Rotert Construction and Schapman Construction are starting renovations within days on the 3,000-square-foot building. Eye-catching red roofing and prominent Verizon signs are some of the features planned, Macke said. There also will be generous-sized new windows and a remodeled storefront.
Pen Communications is a sub agent of Select Communications, a Minnesota-based firm operated by the Macke family that at one time involved as an investor the late Kenny Macke, the former CEO of Dayton Hudson Corp., for a time Target’s parent company.
Pat Macke, who had been serving as a regional manager for Select in Iowa, is eyeing more locations for Verizon stores as part of the new venture.
Macke considered moving to a developing strip mall near the Walmart Supercenter in western Carroll but opted for the location at the nexus of U.S. Highway 71 and U.S. Highway 30.
“I love the location,” Macke said. “I think it’s a great idea. It’s located near the central business district.”
The Carroll store is expected to employ up to eight people in the near term. Macke is seeking tech-savvy wireless consultants. Macke plans to be a visible, hands-on owner involved in the day-to-day Carroll operations.
A 1992 Kuemper Catholic High School graduate, Macke is a son of Jim and Mary Macke of Carroll. Macke previously worked as a realtor for Greteman & Associates, and in the position, played the pivotal role in bringing Walgreens to its current Carroll location. He’s also worked closely with Badding Construction on connecting with tenants at the Carroll Depot Business Center.
The Select store in Carroll is expected to consume about 2,000 square feet, meaning 1,000 square feet is available for lease. Macke said he is seeking a business that complements his telecommunications company.