A major, and beloved, Midwest home improvement retailer has bought 30 acres of property with a 56,000-square-foot building on it in east Manatee County.
Wisconsin-based Menard Inc., which owns more than 300 Menards stores across 15 states, closed on the agricultural land in Myakka City last month, paying $10.3 million.
In an email Thursday morning, Nick Brenner, a real estate representative for the company, says "I appreciate you reaching out but Menards is not looking to expand into Florida at this time." He did not respond to a follow up email asking what the company intended to use the property for.
The property is at 43175 State Road 70 E. just outside of Lakewood Ranch and about 12 miles east of Interstate 75. County property records show that a 56,040-square-foot building sits on the parcel. LoopNet, however, shows the building has 70,000 square feet of rentable space.
Menards is a family-owned retailer that first opened in 1958. It is a well-known and popular chain across the Midwest carrying products for construction, renovation and home improvement as well as appliances, lighting, flooring, hardware and plumbing supplies. Some stores, according to the company’s website, carry pet products and groceries.
For now, at least, its stores are mostly in midwestern states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska. It does have three stores in the South, with two in Kentucky and one in West Virginia.
That Menards would want to expand into to Florida some time would not be that surprising. As more and more people move to the state from other regions every day, retailers “back home” are noticing and in some cases following them down.
That’s what happened with Kelly’s Roast Beef, a Boston institution that recently opened in east Manatee, with plans for nine more eateries in the region over two years. Pinellas County got one of the state’s first Raising Cane’s and Noodle & Co., popular in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, is looking for franchisees to open up to 30 new locations in the Tampa and Sarasota markets. And 16 Handles, a New York self-serve yogurt shop, is opening in Englewood and Naples, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Updated: This story has been updated to include a statement from a Menards representative.