Home improvement retailer Menards to bring 150 jobs to Cape

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The nation's third-largest home improvement retailer, Menards, is coming to Cape Girardeau.

The new development, totaling more than $8 million, will be at the southwest corner of Siemers Drive and Bloomfield Road, according to a preliminary site plan filed at city hall.

Developers intend to employ 150 people with 60 to 70 of those being full time, according to Ken Eftink, assistant city manager.

This is the first large retail development in the city since 2005, a year that brought Sears Grand and Kohl's stores, also in the Siemers Drive area.

Thomas O'Neil of Menards' real estate division, based in Eau Claire, Wis., said the company is working its way through the city's approval process and that he did not yet know when construction would begin on the 16-acre site.

Plans include a 162,340-square-foot retail store, outdoor garden center and lumber warehouse building, Eftink said. This store will be larger than Sears Grand, which is about 150,000 square feet.

The city's board of adjustments will review plans for the Menards project at 7 p.m. March 3 at city hall.

Developers are requesting exemptions from the existing zoning regulations for signage and fencing on the property.

The Menards project is likely to spur other development on the south end of Siemers Drive, said Mitch Robinson, executive director of Cape Girardeau Area Magnet.

"It opens up some additional property in a new area that will provide retail access more to the south. There is a great interchange there for people to access their new store," he said, referring to Interstate 55.

Menards also reinforces Cape Girardeau's commitment to be the retail center of Southeast Missouri, Robinson said.

The sales tax dollars a development of that size brings to the city are also extremely important, he said.

Interest from national retailers in Cape Girardeau is picking up, said John Mehner, president and CEO of the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce. Mehner also said local developers, like Drury Southwest, which owns the Menards site, are working hard to market Cape Girardeau.

A family-owned company started in 1960, Menards operates more than 250 home improvement stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming, according to its website.

The Cape Girardeau location will be one of its southernmost stores. The Menards closest to Cape Girardeau is in Marion, Ill.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

Bloomfield Road & Siemers Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO

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