Menards in St. Peters on track despite cancellation of O’Fallon store; LSL left hanging
By: Michael R. Smith
Despite an announcement in early December that Menards, the Wisconsin-based home improvement retailer, was postponing plans to finish its store in O’Fallon, the retailer and local government officials say the St. Peters store is on pace to open next spring.
Jeff Abbott, a Menards spokesman, said that the St. Peters store is “under construction and will open in spring 2013. The retailer is postponing stores in the Missouri towns of O’Fallon, Springfield, and Independence.
“The concern we have is that economic conditions will worsen and that the federal government will impose more and more restrictions on business going forward,” Abbott said.
He also said that a planned store in Manchester in St. Louis County will open late next year.
Lisa Bedian, communications director for St. Peters, said the store opening in the city will be “likely around April.” She said she understands it will employ about 200 workers, with half being full-time. However, Abbott said that hiring numbers are undetermined at this time.
Bedian said that the St. Peters store is expected to generate $30-million annually in sales.
With sales like that it’s understandable why any community would be sorry to hear of a decision to postpone a project. However, the decision on the O’Fallon store also affects neighboring Lake Saint Louis which had hoped to benefit from the megastore’s adjacent presence.
The store would have set on O’Fallon property at Sommers Road and Hwy. N. Access to the store, though, would have been through 16 acres LSL owns or planned to annex.
“Menards was going to be located in O’Fallon so there isn’t any loss in revenue to LSL,” said City Administrator Paul Markworth. “The out lots were located in LSL.”
Though Markworth “knew of no retailers that were planning to construct on those out lots,” he said that the city was hoping that Menards “would help kick-start other development” that would benefit Lake Saint Louis.
He said that the Menards decision leaves infrastructure projects on hold that were being planned around the property. However, “Both Lake Saint Louis and O’Fallon staff have had some conversations with each other about marketing the two pieces of property to another retail operation.”