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March 26, 2014

City says Menards still on track for this spring

By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer

WARREN — Warren officials are optimistic that plans for a new Menards home improvement store will be approved locally this spring, enabling builders to break ground at the site formerly home to the Van Dyke Sports Center.

“There’s been quite a bit of discussion about that in the last six months. I personally checked with a representative of Menards. He just today sent an email saying they’re working on the property combination,” Warren Planning Director Ron Wuerth said March 13. “They’re actively working toward getting construction going.”

The company submitted a site plan for a 170,000-square-foot store on Van Dyke at Convention Boulevard, south of 14 Mile Road, in April 2012. Plans also called for an open-air warehouse and 180,000 square feet of outdoor sales space.

The terms of the real estate transaction were not disclosed, but the deal had hinged on approval of a traffic light agreement with the Michigan Department of Transportation. An MDOT spokesman said previously that an agreement on the signal was reached in September 2012.

Wuerth said Menards had submitted plans for various trades to the city’s Building Division but the company had yet to provide a required performance bond through the Planning Department. He said once the plans are approved and the bond is provided, permits would be issued allowing the company to begin construction.

“It’s coming along, and I think their plan to start construction in April is going to be fulfilled,” Wuerth said. “Right now, full steam ahead.”

Jeff Abbott, a spokesman for the company based in Eau Claire, Wisc., offered a reserved assessment of the timetable for construction in Warren in an email response on March 12.

“We hope to build a new store in Warren, MI at some point in the future. We are currently working through the approval process and have yet to finalize an official timeline,” Abbott wrote.

Wuerth said he believed it would take about a year to build and open the new store once construction begins.

Menards real estate representative Mike Simonds previously told city officials the company planned to spend $7 million on the project and add 160 new jobs.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Brian Louwers at brianlouwers@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1089.