Urbana looking forward to new store opening in 2010, build homes

By K. Lamorris Waller

Urbana City Council members are looking forward to a new Menards retail store that is scheduled to be built on Route 130 in Urbana come spring of 2010.

Being the third-largest general home improvement store in America, Menards plans to build on 357 acres of land that it purchased in 2005 in a land auction. Along with the building of the store, Menards will also work with an outside company to build single-family residential homes a small distance from the new Menards location.

Along with the general construction, some added infrastructure improvements will widen and improve Route 130 between University and Florida avenues, extend Florida Avenue to Route 130 and widen Washington Street, according to Menards associate Tom O’Neil.

“Menards would initially pay for half of the construction and the city would pay the rest,” O’Neil said. “After that, the city would reimburse Menards through their sales tax over a number of years.”

Some benefits of Menards’ arrival will be more money for the city’s economy. Danielle Chynoweth, Ward 2, said the store’s new development is going to be great for homeowners.

“I shopped for home improvement items at a different Menards a couple years ago,” Chynoweth said. “I was saddened that I couldn’t spend all that money in our own city.”

The Council members came to a general agreement and are very excited for its arrival.

“This new plan will be very beneficial to the entire Champaign-Urbana community,” Robert Lewis, Ward 3, said.

Other topics discussed:

The Urbana Local Traffic Code says people must stop at stop signs at the intersection of Orchard and Oregon streets.

Council members passed the Final Concept Design Development for Streetscape Beautification of Philo Road.