Homewood and Thornton officials mark re-opening of bigger Menards store

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Homewood and Thornton officials mark re-opening of bigger Menards store

May 22, 2017 - 23:24
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  Homewood Mayor Richard 
  Hofeld, center left, and 
  Thornton Mayor Bob Kolosh, 
  center right, cut a board 
  rather than a traditional 
  ribbon to mark the 
  re-opening of Menards in 
  Homewood. Store Manager 
  Richard Reichert, left, and 
  Chicago area operations 
  Manager Dave Harrington 
  keep the board steady for 
  the mayors.
(Photo by Eric 
  Crump/H-F Chronicle)
 
Officials from Homewood and Thornton were on hand Monday, May 22, helping re-open the Menards home improvement store, at 17545 S. Halsted St., by substituting the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony with the cutting of a board using one of the store's saws.

The store will be open to the public Tuesday, May 23, after being closed nearly 11 months for an expansion project that doubled the store's size, converting it into what General Manager Richard Reichert called "a megastore."

Reichert said the cavernous store has enabled the company to expand all its departments. The staff, too, with about 180 employees, is at least 10 percent larger, he said. 

Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld and Thornton Mayor Bob Kolosh used a reciprocating saw to cut through a board that had been signed by officials from both villages and Menards.

Reichert and Dave Harrington, Menards' Chicago area operations manager, each thanked officials from both villages for their efforts to make the project work. Menards had initially indicated it might consider leaving Homewood if the project could not be completed.

The expansion did need some special arrangements, especially the closure of Thornton's Brown Derby Road in Thornton and a portion of 175th Street east of Halsted Street in Homewood. The road closures were requested by the company to enable eastward and northward expansions of the building's footprint. 

As part of the deal, Menards paid both villages for the property, and the villages agreed to a sales tax sharing arrangement to help compensate Thornton for the loss of the road. Brown Derby Road was one of two routes from Thornton to Halsted Street. Motorists now going west from Thornton use Margaret Street to Ridge Road in Homewood.

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