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Posted on Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Menards gets OK to build long-sought store near Ann Arbor

By Lizzy Alfs

Menards’ years of searching for a Washtenaw County store location came to a close Tuesday night as the Scio Township Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve the company’s rezoning request.

The approval clears the biggest obstacle for the Wisconsin-based home improvement chain, which wants to build a 160,000-square-foot store at the southeast corner of Jackson and Staebler roads.


Scio Township Board of Trustees approved Menards' rezoning request for land at Jackson and Staebler roads.

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“This has been a long time coming,” Menards representative Tom O’Neil told “We’ve been scouring the area for a long time to locate a store for ourselves in the Ann Arbor area; finally, we’re there. To get the zoning is the major hurdle.”

Menards’ request was approved with very little discussion among the board. The company still has to receive board approval to be incorporated into Scio Township’s sewer district — something Township Supervisor Spaulding Clark said should not present any issues.


Menards is under contract to purchase 62-acres of the 165-acre site known as the former Farmer Grant land.

Lizzy Alfs |

The next big step for the company is to submit site plans to the Township, which O'Neil said should happen in the next 30 days.

Menards is under contract to purchase 62-acres of the 165-acre property known as the former Farmer Grant land. The owners of the 62-acres are Mel Vanderbrug and Don Colone, operating as Scio Properties LLC.

O’Neil said the store would use 18 to 20 acres of the site, leaving room for smaller, additional developments. It would include two access ways off Jackson Road and an additional two off Staebler. The company is aiming for a late 2013 or early 2014 opening.

The entire 165-acre site was conditionally zoned in 2009 after the property was eyed for development with the proposal of a $100 million mixed-use project called The Village at Honey Creek. That project fell through due to zoning issues and the crash in the real estate market.

Following Menards’ rezoning approval, the 62-acre property it’s under contract to purchase is now zoned straight commercial.

At the same time, the Scio Township Board of Trustees also voted unanimously Tuesday night to revert the conditional zoning for the remainder of the property back to its original designation: general agriculture.

The reversion was necessary, Township Planner Dan Lewan said last month, because the conditions of The Village at Honey Creek development cannot now be met.

“With the Menards land out of the picture, some of the phases of the original development are no longer possible,” Lewan said. “Our zoning ordinance is pretty specific on what we are able to do at this point…we are to revert the zoning back to its original designation.”

Menards has 262 locations in 13 states, including nine locations in Michigan. The company is in various stages of planning and development for stores in Warren, Livonia and Kalamazoo County.

O’Neil said Menards tried — unsuccessfully — to enter the local market for years, including when Pittsfield Township voted to deny Menards’ rezoning request to build on Carpenter Road in 2010.

“We think we finally found a winner here as far as it meets our needs and the community’s needs as well,” he said.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 1:48 p.m.

This sounds like another Lowes. Costco would have made more sense, but Scio Township rejected them a few years back.


Sat, Jul 7, 2012 : 5:33 a.m.

About time, Hopefully they will get it up in a hurry.


Sun, Jul 1, 2012 : 3:29 a.m.

It's a great place to walk indoors when it's hot and cold because it's soooo huge. LOL. I used to spend hours there when I was in grad school in Wisconsin just amazed at the sheer array of what the store carried. Greeting cards. Lumber. Clothing. Lawn Furniture. Menards is super awesome whether you're a farmer or landscape designer, or you just want a little break from the heat or cold.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

another big box for Ann Arbor


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 2:17 a.m.

Welcome Menards! And the jobs it will bring, along with more selection and competition.

Street Cred Swag For Real

Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 1:02 a.m.

If you catch my drift, this store in this particular location is not the brightest of ideas, if you know what I mean. Could have consequences, if you get the idea.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 10:22 a.m.

no... no one gets "it". I drive to Ohio to go to Menards... no idea what you're talking about.

Ann English

Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 12:07 a.m.

I'm assuming that the residents in the subdivision just west of Staebler will be happy about Menard's. With a Lowe's to the northeast of the upcoming Menard's, I wonder if some Lowe's customers will go into Menard's to see if they've been missing out on something by shopping only at Lowe's.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 10:21 a.m.

Menards is the greatest, i drove to ohio to avoid Lowe's.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 6:16 p.m.

Who needs farm land when you can build 160,000 sq. ft. mega boxes full of container-ship crap you can already get at several other stores around town? Bring it... If someone set about dismantling all the empty giant boxes already built in Michigan, we'd never need to go to Home Depot, Lowes or this place again.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

About freaking time. I'm sick of driving to Toledo every time I need a larger home improvement item. Can't beat a Midwest company.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

I believe Mr. Lewan's first name is Doug, not Dan.

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

what is a "long-sought store" and how does this vary from their normal stores? "Menards gets OK to build long-sought store near Ann Arbor"

Elijah Shalis

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Woe to the residents for dealing with their awful catchy commercials that drive everyone crazy.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 10:19 a.m.

thank god i don't have cable! love Menards though!


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 4:25 p.m.

Since I watch very little television, I guess I'll miss them.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

The question to ask yourself is do you want to pay for the gas in a CEO's yacht, or a small business owner's pontoon boat?

Jeff Frank

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 10:54 p.m.

Neither... I want to save money to fuel my own boat. :-)


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

Scio's gain.....Pittsfield's loss! I was so hoping for Menards on Carpenter Road. Bet Lowes and HD did not though.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

We shop the whole west side of Ann Arbor. Some things we go to Stadium or Hackney Hardware for and other things we go to Lowe's for. Sometimes we use Fingerle's. We will continue to spread our money around the community. I feel that others will do the same. We welcome Menards and the jobs that they will bring to the community.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

Looking forward to it!! Will save me a trip to Jackson!

Linda Peck

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 12:20 p.m.

Great news! I will look forward to shopping at Menard's.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 11:14 a.m.

This is good news. They tend to carry higher quality items than HD and Lowes, more selection than Ace and Stadium, and they typically have better prices than all of the above. Whenever I do a bigger home improvement job, I always end up driving to Jackson. It will be nice to have a local store.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 12:08 p.m.

They also have a lot of junk items. Lowes has a lot of the same brand names as Menards and they offer price protection or price match. True they have items not found at Lowes or HD.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 11:08 a.m.

im not sure if this is a good thing or bad? what does this co.offer that we can't get at lowes or meijers or weingartz or larrys mower shop or tractor supply or k-mart or stadium hdw. or ace hdw. or cosco ? i suppose it will bring in a few jobs but at the same time will it put others out of their jobs? something has to give!!

Terri Eagen-Torkko

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 4:49 p.m.

I love Menard's. And as a Wisconsinite by birth, I'm pleased to have this company build near Ann Arbor. Their selection is large and differs from what we already have.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

Murph, I suggest you visit the Menard's in Jackson. I like to woodwork and the selection at Menards extensive. Also the outdoor area is so big you can drive your vehicle in to load up landscaping materials. I just hope this one is that size. I do and always will frequent the hardware stores, including Hackney in Dexter.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

You are coorect fellow murf, I cannot believe the foolishness. Another big box leading to more empty boxes. Tim Murphy.

Blue Marker

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

I'll keep my money local at Stadium Hardware. Not only will I receive better customer service by locals who actually care but there is a good chance Mike and his staff will do business with my store. I highly doubt "Mr. Menard" will ever shop at my store or help me when I'm in his.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 11:02 a.m.

O'Neil said the store would use 18 to 20 ACRES of the site

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 12:05 p.m.


Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 10:59 a.m.

While I'm going to continue to shop as Ace Hardware on Stadium as much as possible this is good news for the Scio tax base and for the jobs it's going to create. Glad the project has jumped the last hurdle.

Jeff Renner

Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 1:23 a.m.

I love Stadium Hardware - the best! Great help, and the prices are not that much more than at the big box stores. Shop local!


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

I love Ace Hardware on Stadium! Carpenter Bros. on Plymouth is a close second.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 10:54 a.m.

Menards will be a welcome addition to the area. I have to go to Jackson at present. They do offer many different choices not available Lowes or Home Depot.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 10:49 a.m.

That is wonderful. We were @ the Jackson store & they do have a lot of items not seen in Lowes or Home Depot.