Mega-retailer Menards has gone through an extensive site selection process in Derby, a real estate representative said Thursday during a Planning Commission meeting.
Tyler Edwards, real estate representative with Menards, said Derby was chosen for a new location, based on that process and the success of the two new stores in Wichita. The prototype will be identical to those stores, he said.
Plans filed with the city show a 167,000 square foot store. It will provide 250 new jobs for the community and sales projections are nearly $50 million a year.
Edwards responded to questions from the Planning Commission and from residents who attended the meeting. He said the retailer looked at every lot in the community which was large enough for its needs.
All other lots were as much as five to nine times higher in cost than the property which it currently has under contract, contingent upon gaining permission to build at that location. The real estate listing for the 46-acre tract shows a $4.6 million price tag.
“We wound up finding a good site in Derby,” Edwards said, adding that the higher priced lots would not have met the budget and construction would not have been planned.
Edwards also addressed the many questions which arose after community members discovered the company would be building close to its competition, Lowes. Edwards said Menards has 260-plus stores and nearly 60 percent are within one-half to one mile of a Lowes.
“We don’t shut them down, we each have our own following,” he said, adding that he knows of no vacant buildings left by the decision to build close to each other.
The footprint map of the building and outdoor storage is nearly set, and will leave open space on the south leg of the property which is directly behind the Old Ranch Housing Addition.
“We want to leave a portion natural for the city,” Edwards said.
Menards can build its store under the B-3 zoning which currently governs the use of the property. However, the company has chosen to ask for the B-5 to fit best with the plans of both the city and McConnell Air Force Base to protect the base from encroachment.
“We want to fit within that to help protect the base in the community,” Edwards said.
Before its site plans are finalized, the company will hire a professional engineer for a traffic study.
Other information shared by Edwards is that the company has developed a plan for drainage; the hours of operation and sound are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. only; a 14-foot tall wooden fence, along with landscaping above the minimum required, will be completed; the company’s lighting plan allows 0 footcandles of light over the property line; and the building will be at a lower elevation than the homes along Buckner.
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