Menards, which planned a huge new store on the Kmart site along Shawnee Mission Parkway in Merriam has apparently reversed course.
Menards has told the city to stop work on preparing a funding agreement and to not proceed with zoning changes that the company had requested. Although at the end of the week, the city had not received a formal letter terminating the development process, the company appears to be abandoning plans for the site.
Merriam city administrator Phil Lammers said the city has been “instructed to stop work” with all of the due diligence procedures on a funding agreement and other work contemplated by a funding agreement. In addition, the company asked that the city not proceed with zoning changes that Menards had requested for the land. Menards had made a deposit to cover the city’s costs in working towards an agreement.
The Menards plan had been to demolish the former Kmart site and build a new store that reportedly would have been the largest home improvement store in Kansas, double the size of a typical Menards. The company had asked the city to expand a redevelopment district to include the property and had filed a $6 million Tax Increment Financing application as well as filing for zoning changes.
Late last year, Menards met with neighborhood residents and shared drawings of the changes to the approximately 13-acre lot. The city had scheduled a hearing on expanding the development district for later this month and had mailed out notices to approximately 180 property owners just before the communication from Menards was received. That hearing will still need to be held, Lammers said.
Menards reportedly cited the steep grade changes from east to west on the property, the price of purchase, the overall cost of development and complications with geo-technical aspects of the lot as factors contributing to the decision.