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by Melissa Miller
SEMissourian.com

Cape Girardeau, MO – The development of West Park Mall — 30 years ago this year — made Cape Girardeau the regional retail hub it continues to be today. It was the vision of Charles L. Drury, now 83, who had been to shopping center conventions and believed Cape Girardeau with its Interstate 55 access, could draw shoppers from a 75-mile radius.

To construct West Park Mall, he partnered with May Company, the parent company of Famous Barr, who already owned more than two dozen shopping malls. It took years for him to convince them, he said.

“For 12 years I went in to their offices with my plaster breeches on and tried to get them to come to Cape. They wouldn’t do it. I finally said to them: I’ll quit bothering you if you let me have one chance to show you what Cape Girardeau is. They said ‘yes.’”

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