BY GARY PERILLOUX
Optometrist Joe C. Kea's vision for the future has never been keener.
Building a new eye care practice in the Barnes Crossing area is the way to go, he believes.
Kea already has a successful Barnes Crossing practice with Spectacular Specs near Sam's Club, where he's practiced and leased for a decade.
Now, he's building a $1.3 million development across the street to house his new Spectacular Specs/Kea Eye Center.
The eye center between the Malco cinema and Lowe's will occupy about 4,000 square feet of the facility, with another 6,000 square feet of retail or professional space available for lease.
“This is a growing area over here and we needed more room,” said Kea, who's named is pronounced like “Key.” “So I bought this lot and decided it was time to be on my own. We wanted a state-of-the-art facility and decided to build it.”
Key, 36, employs eight and offers a variety of vision services, from examinations, glasses and contacts to specialized services in diabetic screening, pediatric care and cataract consulting. He's also the staff optometrist for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
“We have some of the best frames and styles in Tupelo, and we plan to have a really great selection for the public,” he said of his new glass dispensary.
Tupelo architect Rud Robison of Pryor & Morrow designed the 10,000-square-foot structure that's a contemporary adaptation of the Prairie style of architecture descended from Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright.
A dramatic porte cochere entrance toward the U.S. Highway 45 end of the building plays off the entrance of the Malco theater nearby.
“It's big enough to match the scale of the Malco,” Robison said.
Frazier-Williams Construction of Tupelo is building the project, which will be completed by late January.
Kea's original plan was to develop a medical complex, but he said he's open to leasing space to other businesses, such as retail stores. For more information on leasing, Kea may be reached at 842-2000 or 231-1895.
“We look forward to serving the Tupelo area for a long time to come,” Kea said. “We love the community and appreciate our patients' patronage.”