Peer Amid Beads closing permanently

New tenant will fill shop's downtown space
"For Lease" signs hang in the windows of the former Peer Amid Beads building Tuesday. The shop went out of business and a new tenant will move into the space.

Peer Amid Beads has permanently closed its doors after two-and-a-half years at its Front Street location. Goldstein Improvement Company, which owns the space, is currently looking for a new tenant for the space, property manager Daniel Glidmann said.

Peer Amid Beads opened its doors on Front Street in 2011. In 2012, co-owner Gema G. Thomas was convicted on felony charges of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in Juneau.

According to Thomas’ plea agreement, a package from Washington containing six ounces of methamphetamine was delivered to Peer Amid Beads in July 2012. Thomas was arrested in October 2012 and convicted that December after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court.

Thomas’ other downtown shop, a bridal and tuxedo rental store, and its assets were seized by the government because she admitted the shop was funded by money she made selling drugs, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt, who prosecuted the case. Thomas is currently serving 42 months in federal prison, Schmidt said.

The closure of Peer Amid Beads was not part of her plea agreement, Schmidt said. State records show the business license will expire at the end of December.

Glidmann hung “For Lease” signs in the window Tuesday, but had already fielded many calls from business owners interested in renting the space, he said.

“I’m speaking to lots of people, but haven’t found the right match yet,” Glidmann said.

Peer Amid Beads co-owner Michael Thomas has still “not completely moved out,” Glidmann said. Glidmann doesn’t know when he’ll make a decision on a new tenant.

“Hopefully very soon,” he said. “As soon as the perfect tenant comes knocking on my door.”

The building housed Juneau’s downtown McDonald’s from 1986 until it closed at the end of 2010. Glidmann said the owners could rent the space to a national chain, but is currently “not in any conversations with anyone who is not local.”

Glidmann said he doesn’t think he’ll have any trouble renting the location. He said recent updates to the building make it even more appealing.

“It’s a great location, it’s a nice property,” Glidmann said. “Lots of people have called and asked.”

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