While making no official announcement yet, the nation's third-largest home improvement chain, Menards, continues to work to bring a store to Joplin.
The Industrial Development Authority of Joplin has approved a request to issue $16 million in securities to raise funding for construction of a Menards store in the area of 32nd Street and Hammons Boulevard. In that role, the industrial development board assists in obtaining tax incentives for the project, though it would not be obligated for the debt.
The location north of Sam's Club is part of a 60-acre development called 32nd Street Place that a development company, Woodsonia of Joplin, wants to build. Woodsonia is based in Omaha, Nebraska. That company was the developer of Natural Grocers at 510 S. Range Line Road.
A representative of the development, Jeff Haney, and the securities broker for the deal, James Lahay with Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., met with the industrial development board Sept. 25 via the internet, according to minutes of the meeting. Those minutes are unofficial because they have not yet been approved by the board.
After a discussion of the request, the board approved the bond request. Members of the board are Ron Gatz, Randy Evans, Doug Doll, Kevin Parker, Gil Stevens and Morris Glaze. Stevens abstained from the vote. One board member, Earl Clements, was absent.
Also participating in the meeting were Toby Teeter, who as president of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce is vice president of the authority; chamber Vice President Tonya Sprenkle, secretary for the authority; and John Dolence, the board's attorney.
Woodsonia recently obtained City Council approval to establish a community improvement district excluding the Menards site. Creation of the taxing district allows Woodsonia to collect an additional 1 cent in sales tax within the district to fund some of the work needed to establish the district.
The council last year rejected a proposed tax increment financing district for a development called Boomtown Plaza in the same location because of the financial plan proposed by that developer that would have cost too much in tax incentives.
A Menards spokesman responded to a Globe email in August asking if Menards planned to build there by saying that "no decisions have been made."
A representative of Woodsonia told the council in August that prospective retailers in the proposed development could not be disclosed yet.
Menards is a family-owned company based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Since its founding in 1958, the company has expanded to include more than 300 home improvement stores in 15 states. Forbes magazine ranks the chain third after Home Depot and Lowe's in volume of sales.