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Menards making plans for new Bradley store

January 10, 2019

BRADLEY — Business is booming at Menards, and the company is moving forward on plans to construct a new store — about one-quarter mile south of its existing location.

The company is seeking to construct an approximate 200,000-square-foot store on 30 acres south of the store and almost directly east of its chief competitor, Lowe’s Home Improvement.

The store will be roughly the same size as the current store. The main difference will be the size of the areas where lumber and building products are showcased.

The company sought and received new zoning on two parcels of ground at Tuesday’s Bradley Planning & Zoning Commission meeting.

The change from industrial and residential zoning to business zoning was unanimously approved by the commission. The matter moves to the Bradley Village Board on Monday for final approval.

Details on when construction could begin and when the new store would be ready for shoppers were not offered.

Rodney Wekkin, real estate representative for Eau Claire, Wis.-based Menards, said the new site would be about 10 acres larger than the current location at Armour Road and Christine Drive.

“As we reviewed the Bradley store, we found we didn’t have room to expand,” he said. The company set out to find a new location and found one only several hundred feet away.

The property has not yet been officially purchased, but the company does have purchase options in place.

Wekkin explained the privately-held company is seeking expanded areas for its lumber and building materials as a chief reason for the move. These two product areas are located immediately east of the current store and close to Interstate 57.

These products will be located in a similar spot at the new store, but will be in a widely expanded area.

Final details for the proposed store are not yet available as the design is in the conceptual phase, he said.

Asked by a planning board member what will be the fate of the current store, Wekkin said it will be put up for sale.

The existing store and the proposed site for the new store are separated only by the Bradley Place Eastgate Apartments on Uncle Leo Drive.

Menards, started in 1960, has about 310 stores which are located mainly in the Midwest.

While the store will remain in close proximity to Lowe’s, Wekkin said Menards “feels it be successful in this market.”

Mayor Bruce Adams said he obviously hopes an occupant can be found in speedy fashion for the location Menards will be vacating.

But, he said, Menards investing for a second time in Bradley is a testament to the area’s economic strength.

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