Mission will be gaining one big sales tax generator when Walmart moves from Roeland Park to the Gateway project, but it appears it could be losing another one as Hobby Lobby makes plans for a new store in Merriam.
Hobby Lobby is now the dominant store in the Mission West center that lies between Martway and Johnson Drive. A spokesman for Block Properties, which manages Mission West, said they have not been notified yet by Hobby Lobby of its intention to leave the center, but did say Hobby Lobby would be able to terminate its lease in Mission without difficulty.
In Merriam, Hobby Lobby has already had its plans approved by the planning commission and they are expected to go to the city council for approval at one of its next two meetings. The plans call for a 55,000 square foot store in the new Ikea development area, known as Merriam Village.
The Hobby Lobby store would be on the east side of the 349,000 square foot Ikea building, which is now under construction, and directly north of the city pool. Hobby Lobby would not comment about its plans for the Mission and Shawnee stores that are the closest to the new location and could be replaced by the new construction. A spokesman said Hobby Lobby was “unable to comment on any of the Kansas City area stores.”
The Mission West center, which also houses Avelutto’s, the driver’s license branch and several other businesses, had been the subject of an application for a Community Improvement District to fund planned renovations last spring. That proposal was stopped when the city council voted against holding a public hearing for the plan. The CID would have created a higher sales tax to fund improvements to the property.