Menards to open Columbia store

Wednesday, July 25, 2007 | 2:27 p.m. CDT; updated 10:38 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — Menards, a home improvement store, is opening an outlet in Columbia, it was announced today.

The privately owned company has more than 200 locations in the Midwest, including one in St. Joseph.

The Columbia store opening is anticipated for late 2008 or early 2009. But it depends on the closing of the land sale this fall, and City Council approval of building plans, project manager Donald Lairmore said.

“The concept review (with the city) was favorable, but there is always a process, and we still have to submit a full plan with storm water, green space and things like that, but the zoning is in place,” Lairmore said.

Menards contacted Columbia Bass Properties LLC about purchasing 17.5 acres east of the Bass Pro Shops and Hilton Garden Inn off Vandiver Drive, in Centerstate Crossing. Since then the project has accelerated, Lairmore said.

“This is a tipping point of the whole project,” Lairmore said. “In retail, smaller shops tend to follow bigger shops — the whole project should attract more stores, and that’s big for us.”

The store buildings will have a combined area of roughly 250,000 square feet, and a 4.06-acre lumber yard. Its location will be within 4 miles of both Lowe’s and Home Depot.

Lairmore said the addition of Menards to Centerstate Crossing is a positive.

“It adds a new sales tax base, new employees and contributes to the overall growth of Columbia,” he said.

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