A legendary property in Benton recently sold to an investor and it’s going to be something completely different. It’s been 13 or more years since Gayla’s Costume Shoppe last served customers at 2018 New Congo Road. They were in business for 35.
Umesh Patel of Vue Hospitality LLC confirmed his company purchased that property, along with some adjoining land that extends to the Frontage Road. The two properties together are about 1.6 acres. According to Saline County Assessor records, the sale on June 3, 2022 totaled $1.35 million. Before that, the property was sold in 2009 to the Fleming family.
Two siblings from the later Fleming family – Robert Fleming and Anne Fleming Packbush – were the most recent owners of both properties. Otto and Lydia Fleming, their grandparents, were the original owners. According to Ms. Packebush, the Flemings first built on the property in 1900, but that home burned.
The next home, built there by the same family, is the house we see in the present, built around 1931. Ms. Packebush stated in a social media post that the Flemings had 14 children. Their son, Clyde and his wife Charlotte, lived in the ranch style house next door and were the parents of Anne and her brother/co-owner Robert.
Ms. Packebush recalls that Gerald Baxley bought the house after her grandmother Fleming died. Next it was rented, then the McCoys (costume shop) owned it since the 1980s and finally it went back to the family.
Jerri DeLamar stated on social media that, while her family only lived in the house for about a year, her father, Mr. Baxley, was the one who painted the house yellow, in the mid-1970s.
The newest owner, Mr. Patel, stated that it will be a few months yet before plans for the property are finalized, but the company’s aim is to remove the current structures – yes, the big yellow house, attached warehouse, the house next door and outbuildings. They will then smooth out the land and build a hotel and restaurant there.
The hotel and restaurant will likely be chain names you’ll recognize, but Mr. Patel wasn’t ready to divulge any specifics until contracts are signed. MySaline will stay with this story and update when we know more.
Meanwhile, we’d love to read your comments about any memories from the costume shop, see any pictures you may have from inside or outside, and facts/details you know about either of the two properties.
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