The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

September 13, 2013

Hobby Lobby plans Oct. 21 grand opening

HUNTSVILLE — The grand opening of a long-awaited Hobby Lobby in Huntville will occur Monday, Oct. 21.

The store will occupy the old Wal-Mart building in its 88th location in Texas. Doors will open which is projected to open in late October.

This location will bring about 40 to 60 jobs to the community paying $14 per hour for full time and $9.50 per hour for part­-time sales staff, according to a press release.

“We are very excited to open our Huntsville store and provide the crafting and home décor community with quality merchandise, exceptional value and the widest variety of crafting supplies and home décor merchandise under one roof,” said John Schumacher, Hobby Lobby’s assistant vice president of advertising. “Adding new jobs and revitalizing an empty facility enables us to become an integral part of the community while sharing in the growth of both the city and the state.”

Construction on the Hobby Lobby was scheduled for completion Sept. 9, which would allow the store to open roughly a month later, according to previous Huntsville Item stories.  Building owner Ben Bius said in addition to the Hobby Lobby, a Goodwill store would also come to Huntsville at this site.

Bius previously declined to go into detail about the contract agreements but said the two businesses plan to stay in Huntsville for 20 years or more, since large retail companies often sign 10-year leases with 10 additional one-year options.

“They’re making a long-term commitment to the community,” Bius said. “They’re both doing good work. I was so proud to have Goodwill here because they use free enterprise to do good work to help disadvantaged people learn to work. It’s an excellent model.”

Negotiations to bring the craft store to Huntsville began two years ago but eventually stalled. Bius said the mutual friend made an important phone call for Hobby Lobby to reconsider Huntsville.

“What we do is determine who are the highest and best users for our piece of property,” Bius said. “When you’re in the commercial real estate business, it’s just what you do. I passed up several other tenants waiting on Hobby Lobby because they are great tenant, great company.”

Although there was no word on what the other businesses are, Bius previously said it was luck that got the deal with the business.

“Frankly, by the grace of God they came,” he said. “I just stayed on the phone, talked with them and it just worked.”

Huntsville will have the 41st Hobby Lobby store to open in 2013, but only one of two being developed in Texas by the Oklahoma-based company. The other Texas store under construction is in Lewisville near Dallas.

The two new developments are projected to bring 70 to 100 new jobs to Huntsville. Mayor Mac Woodward at the June 18 council meeting told The Item there had been no further discussion on providing Bius with performance-based incentives.

Hobby Lobby departments include floral, fabric, needle art, custom framing, baskets, home accents, wearable art, arts and crafts, jewelry and scrapbooking and paper crafting supplies.

According to the store website, the official opening of the Huntsville store will be Friday, Oct. 18. Hobby Lobby will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and closed Sundays.


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