Hobby Lobby is the latest to build and relocate to Fairview City Centre.
The home decor chain has finished construction at the Fairview Heights retail redevelopment and will open Monday morning. The shopping center wraps up more than three years of reconstruction at the corner of North Illinois Street and Lincoln Trail, where an aging shopping strip was razed and replaced.
Hobby Lobby is new to the property, but not to Fairview Heights. The business has relocated from across the street, at the neighboring Crossroads Centre.
As construction has wrapped up at the new Hobby Lobby, store manager Alan Redburn said many people have stopped by asking about the new store who did not realize Hobby Lobby had operated just across the street.
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“We’ve had people all week, since we started working in here, come up to the door wanting to know when we’re going to open the store,” Redburn said. “And we just directed them to the other store, and they say, ‘Where’s it at? We’ve never been to Hobby Lobby here.’”
At the new location, a portion of the initial building built in the late 1960s had housed a Venture store and pre-dated the St. Clair Square mall, which is located on the other side of North Illinois Street. Kmart and other neighboring retailers left the property by December 2012.
The new building also houses the metro-east’s first organic grocery store, Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market, home decor and furniture retailer Home Goods and sporting equipment retailer Sports Authority. Previous tenant Office Max has relocated within the new shopping center.
Hobby Lobby first came to Crossroads Centre in 1999. The shopping center initially housed Kmart, which left in 1998 and relocated to a spot near where Hobby Lobby now occupies.
The store has been a mainstay in the Fairview Heights area for many years. They’re just looking to grow as fast as they can and as much as they can keep up with.
Alan Redburn, Hobby Lobby store manager
Redburn said the new store will be just as large and sell all of the same items as the old store.
“We do everything from arts, hobbies, crafts, your home accents, seasonal, floral, fabric and sewing,” he said. “We have a little bit of everything, which I think makes us unique.”
He also said that judging from recent customer encounters, the new location should be more visible to consumers.
“It’s going to be a big boost for us, just on the foot traffic, which is good for business,” he said. “Nothing’s changed. It’s the same product.”
The store has hired 15 seasonal employees who have helped with the move and will stay on to work through the holidays. Redburn said the new store is another example of the Oklahoma City-based retailer’s recent efforts to expand. He said Hobby Lobby recently opened a new store across the river in South St. Louis County and has plans to open another in O’Fallon, Mo., early next year.
“The store has been a mainstay in the Fairview Heights area for many years,” he said. “They’re just looking to grow as fast as they can and as much as they can keep up with.”
The doors at the new Fairview Heights store open at 9 a.m. Monday.