Menards likely expanding in Cedar Valley--but where? - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Menards likely expanding in Cedar Valley--but where?

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BLACK HAWK COUNTY (KWWL) -

A new Menards home improvement store could be coming to the Cedar Valley.  But there are still some questions as to where it could go.

The company currently owns property in Waterloo along Logan Avenue.  But it is also in talks to develop a site off Viking Road in Cedar Falls.

Cedar Falls seems optimistic that a new Menards store will be built a Pinnacle Prairie, near the site of a new Scheels store.  But Waterloo hasn't given up hope that the company will finally develop a site Menards has already purchased and re-zoned along Highway 63.

The parking lot of Menards on San Marnan in Waterloo is almost always full.  So the city of Waterloo has every reason to think another Menards, on the opposite side of town, could be equally successful. 

"We really think it's a good area to draw from, you know, both in Waterloo and to the northeast," said Noel Anderson, Waterloo Planning & Development director.

Leon Mosley has lived in the northeast part of Waterloo off Logan Avenue almost his whole life.  He's seen a lot of positive changes in the neighborhood, which could be furthered if a home improvement store located close by.

"It would really be an enhancement for this area.  All of us around here are fixing up our homes.  But every time we go to do something, we've got to drive across town.  It's really sad when you need a blot, a nail, or a 2x4 and it costs you more to go get it than it did to buy it, you know, with gas and stuff," Mosley, president of the Gates Park Neighborhood Association, said.

In fact--we put it to the test.  Driving from the Logan Avenue area to the Menards on San Marnan is about 6 miles and takes about 20 minutes when you hit all the stop lights.

But nothing's happened with the Waterloo lot Menards owns since the company backed down from building in 2007 due to economic concerns.  Waterloo now fears the development may never happen, since the company is moving ahead with plans to build a store in Cedar Falls, which doesn't currently have a big-box hardware business.

"Right now we have Wal-Mart, Target, Blain's and Scheels is looking at going along the Viking Road corridor.  So this is going to be a fantastic addition to that," said Ron Gaines, Cedar Falls Developmental Services director.

Whether Cedar Falls or Waterloo gets a new Menards, both cities agree that even if one extra store comes to the Cedar Valley that it could be boost for the entire area by bringing in new business and up to 150 jobs.

Cedar Falls believes a new Menards store could be completed by the spring of 2013.  Waterloo hasn't heard a time frame for developing a store along Logan Avenue, since the company backed out of building a store at that site in 2007.

We reached out to the Menards Corporate office for comment about where the company plans to locate a store in the Cedar Valley.  The response we were given:  "We have nothing to report at this time."

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