Downtown landmark will soon have a new tenant

Published: May. 18, 2017 at 8:51 PM MST|Updated: May. 19, 2017 at 4:34 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Downtown Tucson's landmark store, Wig-O-Rama, will have a new tenant in two weeks, but the developer won't say who it is just yet.

The store has been on the corner of Scott and Congress since 1976, when the owner, Myung Kim, started it to sell wigs to chemotherapy patients.

Kim recently sold it to business partners Ron Schwabe and Marcel Dabdoub, who are redeveloping the entire 100 block of East Congress.

The store evoked memories for many people in Tucson, most of whom have driven or walked past it over the years.

"I wanted to go in there to buy one," said Nubia Burch. "But I never did."

Just the name, which was unforgettable, would generate a smile or laugh, and was often used as a joke.

"I have older daughters and they would come here for Halloween," said Sonja Kelly. "They'd buy a wig for Halloween."

Victor Ybarra and his mother left the storefront disappointed when they found it locked and closed.

"My mom, she has cancer, so she was looking for something," he said. "We'll have to start looking again."

For others, it's just a sign of the times.

"There's a lot of change going on downtown, a lot of good change," said Greg Teesdale, a downtown business owner. "So you've got to balance the good with the bad."

The developers plan to remove the stucco wrapping the building and restore it to its original turn of the 20th century façade.

The store caught fire in 2013 and the damage was confined to the second floor.

The store moved to a different location downtown during repairs but never regained its footing.

Kim sold it to the developers for just under $1 million.

"It's sad, it's sad," said Lupita Mungia, whose mother shopped at the store in the 70's. "It's a landmark."

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