MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - The Mishawaka Planning Commission gave the green light to a proposal that could lead to the relocation of Menards.
“Obviously, Menards has been a great citizen in Mishawaka, and we welcome the expansion,” planning commission president Matthew Lentsch said.
Menards wants to move from its current location at Main Street and University Drive to half a mile down the road at Gumwood and State Road 23.
“We think it's a good development,” Lentsch said. “We think it's a solid development. You always have to take into consideration the neighbors, but this was zoned commercial. This was a planned unit development. The main thing that we were considering tonight was the outdoor storage. “
Menards wants to move to the location to expand to a two-story facility with an outdoor lumber space.
They agreed to create a three-layer buffer between the residential area and the store with the existing tree line, a row of evergreens and a 14-foot-tall fence.
But one resident is concerned with the traffic it will cause.
“I’ve seen all of this progress,” Corrine Weaver said. “I wouldn't call it progress anymore, because now it's a conglomerate of heavy, heavy traffic.”
A consultant to the developers said they will discuss concerns with residents.
“As a professional engineer, we, too, share those same concerns,” senior project manager Brian McMorrow said. “So, we'll take those comments and concerns under advisement, of course, and we will reach out to them and get more of their input as we go along.”
The planning commission voted 5-2 to approve the outside storage petition.
“We're going to take the approval we got this evening and begin to prepare detailed plans that would be consistent with the ordinance that's now on the books,” McMorrow said.
But Weaver just wants to "let Menards stay where they're at."
The petition now goes to the full common council for approval.
If approved, Menards and the development team will begin drafting full plans.
A representative from Menards said he hopes the new store could be open in late 2020 or early 2021.