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Menards set to open Oct. 16 at The Highlands

WHEELING — Home appliances, plumbing and electrical supplies, groceries and even pet food are entering the building as the Menards store at The Highlands has announced plans to open Oct. 16.

Cars lined the parking lot Tuesday as employees are preparing the store for its grand opening next month.

“They tell us they think there is enough staff and stock to open,” said Ohio County Commission President Tim McCormick.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

It has been more than five years since it was announced. a Menards store was coming to Ohio County. Construction began about a year ago.

The building was completed by the end of spring, but by that time the COVID-19 pandemic had hit, and the official opening to the store was delayed.

“It will be opened in time for the holiday season,” said Commissioner Randy Wharton, also president of the Ohio County Development Authority that oversees operations at The Highlands.

“They have hired a lot of people, and I think they’re filling the store up right now — and probably training.

“It will be a great addition. It will bring a lot of traffic to The Highlands. They are a big job creator, and they will be generating a lot of sales tax.”

Much of the sales tax revenue collected will go toward the building of a second interchange from Interstate 70 to enter and exit The Highlands, according to Wharton. The Menards store sits in a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) approved by the state, and this gives Ohio County the opportunity to use revenue generated there for property improvements within the district.

“That was the deal we made with the state,” he explained. “We told them we would bring in enough new development to add to the sales tax so that money could be bonded and used to build another interchange.

“With the addition of Menards and everything else we’ve added there, I think we’re just about there. If it hadn’t been for the business interruption we’ve had over the past few months, we would definitely be off and running.”

Wharton also hinted that “a very nice retail place” that is based locally also is wanting to locate near the Menards store, and that deal could be announced in the coming weeks.

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