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04-14-06 Menards deal still on track

By Tim Cox

  National home improvement chain Menards is moving closer to building a 200,000-square-foot superstore at the Harbor Square commercial development in Celina.

  Developers of the site have filed a site plan for approval by the Celina Planning Commission. The commission meets Thursday to consider four pieces of business, all related to developments at Harbor Square, which is anchored by the Wal-Mart Supercenter.

  Celina officials had confirmed in February that developers and the city were working to secure an agreement with Menards. The filing of a site plan with the city virtually assures the company will build in Celina if the commission approves the site plan, a zoning change and two related lot splits, said Mayor Sharon LaRue, who also serves on the planning commission.

  Representatives from R.G. Properties, the site developer, and Menards could not be reached for comment Thursday.

  Two lot splits will be considered by commission members. One of them is a split of the existing 13.83-acre lot that was to be the site of the Menards store. That lot will be split to create a smaller, undeveloped lot.  LaRue said she does not know the developer's plans for the new lot that would be created.

  The other lot split would involve adding 7.15 acres of land to the Menards outlot. The 7.15-acre tract is being purchased from Crown Equipment Corp. from the eastern, rear portion of the company's Grand Lake Road property that formerly was the Huffy Bicycle Co. factory. All of the Harbor Square development along Havemann Road sits on land once owned by Huffy.

  "That area has changed a lot," LaRue said.

  Planning commission members also will be asked to grant a zoning change for the split-off Crown land to allow it to be used for the commercial development.

"They needed the extra acre-age to make their site plan work," and stay within existing city zoning regulations, LaRue said.

   After they take care of all of that, commission members will focus on the building site plan for the newly carved 14.55-acre Menards property, including the parking lot and also the layout of the new outlot that would be created.

  If the new outlot is formed, there would remain four undeveloped properties at Harbor Square, all about 1.3 acres each.

  The Menard Company is the third-largest home improvement chain store in the nation behind Home Depot and Lowe's with 210 stores, a majority of them in the Pacific Northwest. The company was founded in 1972.


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