The city issued a building permit on Wednesday for a freestanding 55,000-square-foot space for the craft and home decor retailer, which will be located in the area where the grocery store building was recently demolished.
The construction period is 92 working days.
“We’re possibly looking at an early summer opening if the weather cooperates,” said Harley White, developer of the property with Southeast Real Estate Development Group. “They jump on it and they move quick. You’ll start seeing some really good activity here very soon.
“Our next phase will be redoing the rest of the mall,” said White. “We will be starting with the section directly adjacent to where Hobby Lobby is going.”
Two national chains, as yet unnamed, are planned for two 20,000-square-foot spots in the mall space.
Sears and most of the existing stores are staying where they are. Hamilton-Ryker will move to another space in the shopping center.
“We’re trying to utilize this building as much as we can and get rid of as much of the dead space as we can,” said White.
Removal of the canopy at the entrance will allow that area to be reworked into another tenant space. The pylon shopping center sign on Highway 72 will be reworked, and lighting improvements will be made in the parking lot.
Construction continues for the freestanding Little Ceasars’ location while its existing spot remains open for business.
Mayor Tommy Irwin, who visited the site with the developer Friday morning, said the city is excited about Hobby Lobby and the traffic it will bring to the city.
The parcel of property occupied by the vacant Back Yard Burgers building is not associated with the shopping center.