The Waxahachie Planning and Zoning commission approved the site plan and the replat for a new Hobby Lobby store at its meeting Wednesday.

The store, which sells décor, fabrics and crafts among other items, will be located in the 1200 block of N. U.S. Highway 77 between Office Depot and Tractor Supply.

“We are going to be adding a Hobby Lobby, which is a 54,000-square foot store. We are going to be refacing the entire shopping center and making it look a whole lot prettier,” developer Tom Welch said. “We are downsizing at the request of Office Depot from 27,500 to 15,600-square feet. We are moving a wall and leaving Tractor Supply the same.”

Welch said the current size of Office Depot is inefficient for their operation. The new 15,600-square foot size will make it more efficient and help them in operation costs, he said. As part of the development, Office Depot will receive a whole new store, Welch said.

Engineer Clay Cristy said the existing retail façade will be refaced and will feature stone. There will also be some landscaping done in the existing non-landscaped parking lot, Cristy said.

Since being approved by the planning and zoning commission, the recommendation for Hobby Lobby plan will be forwarded onto the city council for an official vote. This item will be presented to the council at its Nov. 17 meeting. Following the council meeting, the developers will submit building plans.

Welch said he expects, if the council approves the project, construction is planned to start in the first part of January. Construction is estimated to take seven to eight months to complete with the store opening for business in late September.

Welch said it has taken several years to get the project to its point of where it is today, getting all of the pieces to come together.

Planning Director Clyde Melick said the remodel of the existing development is added benefit to the city and will bring more business.

“I think that is another redevelopment on our infill commercial area that revitalizes our tax base and revitalizes some old store fronts that were built 40 years ago,” Melick said. “I think that it is positive that we keep regenerating the tax base around here and I think that it is positive for the city.”

Melick said the overall development is about 80,000-square feet.

According to Hobby Lobby’s website, the company has more than 600 stores across the country that average 55,000-square feet in size. Hobby Lobby offers more than 70,000 arts, crafts, hobbies, home décor, holiday and seasonal products.

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