City expects Menards to open within weeks

5/2/2013

Definite date yet to be confirmed.

Definite date yet to be confirmed.

BY SCOTT AUST

saust@gctelegram.com

While Menards officials won't confirm any information about the opening of the company's Garden City store, city officials are expecting "a lot" of truck traffic next week as Menards begins stocking the store.

"I've heard a lot of trucks," Matt Allen, city manager, said. "I don't know how many total trucks or how many per day. I know there's a high-water mark, and then it backs off quite a bit. I don't know if it will be a solid stream for an extended period of time."

Steve Cottrell, city engineer, said the city has been told there could be up to 100 trucks per day for the first two or three days before there is a drop in traffic. He said the city has also heard there could be 50 to 60 trucks per day.

Most of the trucks will come into the city on U.S. 50/400, turn north on Jennie Barker Road to get to Schulman Avenue and the store site, he said.

"We'll let them stage and stack on Schulman in the westbound lanes. Since Schulman is four lanes wide, we won't have any traffic problems," Cottrell said.

The Menards store covers about 162,000 square feet on about 28 acres.

Menards is tight-lipped about the date for the store's opening. A spokesperson declined a request for additional information. In the past, Menards has indicated it won't make an announcement about the opening until about a week before the event.

However, the opening might happen as early as the end of the month.

Allen told the city commission during Tuesday's town hall meeting that staff has heard the store might open the end of May, however, he strongly cautioned that the information didn't come directly from Menards, and it would be up to Menards to make any firm announcement about the grand opening.

Allen said later he doesn't know when the store will actually open; he based his information on tentative information provided nearly a month ago to the engineering department, information that may not be completely accurate.

"I think it's second-hand information coming from the contractor based on when he needs to have the building done," Allen said.

Cottrell said the end of May time frame came from Menards' construction coordinator, but people should consider the estimate subject to change until Menards makes an official announcement.

When contacted requesting confirmation or more information, a Menards spokesman indicated a press release would be sent out shortly before the store opens but provided no information about when that might occur.

Menards will be the anchor store in the first phase of a two-phase $67.2 million retail shopping development to be built on Garden City's east side. The retail development being built by North Carolina-based real estate company Collett & Associates includes 400,000 square feet of retail space on more than 60 acres of land north of Schulman Avenue and south of Sam's Club, east of the U.S. Highway 50/83 bypass.

The first phase of the project includes development and construction of the Menards store and four smaller lots for as yet unnamed retail stores, along with parking, utilities and highway, street and infrastructure improvements.

The second phase of the project will includes build-out of the remaining property in the 60-plus acres with additional retail lots.

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