Business Booming in Columbia
Hy-Vee announced just yesterday it is going to build two new stores in Columbia. Now today, a regional home improvement store, Menard's, reveals plans to build a major store on Columbia's north side.
The land next door to the Bass Pro Shop is bare now, but in little more than a year, it will be bustling with people buying home improvement supplies. Some claim it is because of Columbia's unique population.
"You have a daytime population that's probably higher than the night time population because of the work force in Columbia that comes from a large distance," said Realtor, Don Lairmore. "Well, a lot of the workforce, they go home at night, their stores are closed so they end up shopping through the noon hour and during their breaks in the daytime and on their way home or their way to work."
Menard's looked at Columbia for about five years before choosing the city. The company has now bought this 17.5 acre site for its new store, located just off of the I-70 and Highway 63 interchange. Menard's plans to build on all 17.5 acres, including 250,00 square feet of indoor selling space and about four acres of outdoor space.
Columbia's population has grown 1.5 percent each year for the past five years.
"The critical mass of people here. People enjoy a lot of travel, a lot of visitors. We have a very active number of people that come here for different events and things that happen in Columbia, so people look at that," said Don Laird of the Chamber of Commerce.
Lairmore says he expects more business development in Columbia, particularly in the northwest. Construction on the new Menard's home improvement store is expected to begin in spring next year, and should open nine months later.