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Entrepreneur to buy Harbell's, open downtown office for marketing firm

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An entrepreneur with holdings in the Springfield and Kansas City markets is making his mark downtown.

Marlin Blakeney said his QCM Agency digital marketing business is slated to occupy a building on the square. Separately, Blakeney is nearing a deal to buy Harbell's Grill and Sports Bar, a downtown restaurant on Park Central West.

QCM Agency, which was founded two years ago as a remote company, is planning a July 16 grand opening at 122 Park Central Square, said Blakeney. The roughly 7,000-square-foot building at the corner of South Avenue is next to The Coffee Ethic.

Blakeney said he planned to open an office sooner for the 25-employee business.

"COVID put a damper into things," he said.

The building currently owned by the Hagerman family most recently housed Neally Law LLC, Blakeney said. He said he plans to buy the building in three to six months, and a final purchase price is being negotiated.

QCM Agency's digital marketing team will take on the second floor of the building, with a call center for his company and other customers on the third floor. The first floor will be a welcome area and introductory meeting space, he said, and the basement will serve as a meeting spot. Also iIn the basement, he wants to hold weekly or biweekly meetings for young professionals and executives to network. Blakeney also runs a podcast called QWorld that will operate in the building.

QCM Agency's services include website design, social media campaigns and search engine optimization.

Around the block, Blakeney expects to close around the first week of July on the purchase of Harbell's from David Bauer, who also owns Coyote's Adobe Cafe.

"We're really good friends," Blakeney said of Bauer. "I've been going to Harbell's for about 10 years."

Blakeney lives in one of the loft apartments above Harbell's.

Blakeney said the purchase price for the restaurant is being negotiated, as is the acquisition of the building over the next two years.

Located at 315 Park Central West, Harbell's was founded in 2011 by Jerry and Derek Bumgarner. Bauer bought the business and 7,500-square-foot building in late 2018, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

In addition to QCM Agency and Harbell's, Blakeney has a real estate investment portfolio in Kansas City, he said. He said he works three weeks out of the month in Springfield and one week in Kansas City, where his two children live.

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