072415 hobby lobby pic

Courtesy photoThe proposed Emporia Pavilions development looks much different than originally presented. The new plan includes Hobby Lobby as an anchor tenant and additional green space to serve as a buffer for the residential area surrounding the development.

Hobby Lobby may be coming to Emporia. Emporia Land Development, LLC, the developer of the proposed Emporia Pavilions retail project to be located at 24th Avenue and Industrial Road have announced that Hobby Lobby has agreed to be the anchor tenant.

“I wanted to let you all know that we have an anchor tenant,” Spencer Thomson with Thomson Walker said. “Hobby Lobby has signed a non-binding LOI to locate at the project.”

Originally, the development plans included a grocery store and home improvement store. After a market analysis was completed it was determined that the market was saturated with grocery stores.

Thomson says that the company has revamped their plans to improve on the earlier design. Changes include Hobby Lobby as an anchor tenant and other things that could be more pleasing to neighboring residents.

“There is much more green space and buffer between the commercial development and the neighboring residential,” Thomson said.

Emporia Land Development, LLC plans to appear at the city planning meeting Tuesday to discuss the project. They will discuss the project at that time and explain why the new plan is not a substantial deviation from the preliminary plan. The TIF needed for the project is decreasing by as much as $2 million as a result of lower costs associated with the new plan.

“We hope to be back in August for a hearing on our TIF application,” Thomson said.

Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby was founded in 1970 by David and Barbara Green. They began by making miniature picture frames in their garage. In 1972, the Green family opened the first Hobby Lobby store with just 300 square feet of retail space.

Hobby Lobby Stores, inc. is headquartered in Oklahoma City. There are now over 650 stores across the nation. Hobby Lobby ioffers more than 70,000 arts, crafts, hobbies, home decor, holiday and seasonal products.

The Emporia location would be the 15th Hobby Lobby store located in the state of Kansas.

“We are very excited about this as Hobby Lobby is an excellent company with strong financials, steady growth and, interestingly, the founder, David Green, was born in none other than Emporia,” Thomson said.

The company has gained nationwide attention after engaging in several lawsuits related to health insurance requirements for employees. The company did not want to comply with the Health and Human Service Mandate requiring contraceptive coverage on employee health plans saying that it did not coincide with the Christian beliefs of the company founders.

The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby. At this time Hobby Lobby has opted out of providing coverage for birth control in employee health insurance plans.

The developers say that the already approved preliminary development plan is being greatly improved with the latest changes and addresses many of the most significant concerns raised in the past including:

^Much greater green space area and buffer between the commercial development and the neighborhoods to the north and east (the new plan has approximately 11 acres of contiguous green space serving as buffer).

^ In lieu of one very large building for a home improvement store the plan has several different retail users of varying sizes comprising approximately 8,000 less in total square footage. The large lumber yard area nearer to the property line is removed.

^ The new plan is more aesthetically pleasing and will be more attractive from a design and architectural standpoint as a result of the above described changes.

^ No changes to points of public access or utilities is occurring.

^ All of the improvement to the development plan are in substantial compliance with the already approved preliminary plan.


(16) comments

Comment deleted.

Michael "the economy will collapse today" Snyder. Pssssh.


Jessie Wagoner: The statement contained in your article that "At this time Hobby Lobby has opted out of providing coverage for birth control in employee health insurance plans" is incorrect.

Hobby Lobby's health care plan covers 16 out of 20 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved contraceptive methods, from "the pill" to "the patch"; that plan does not cover the four methods of contraception (Ella, Plan B, or copper or hormonal IUDs) which the FDA has said may have the effect of preventing an already fertilized egg from developing by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus. The owners' beliefs as to when human life begins caused them offer the other 16 forms of contraception, but avoid coverage for those 4. The aim of the single lawsuit that company brought was to be permitted to exclude these four methods from its health plan without facing ruinous fines, not to exclude all forms of contraception. These other 16 contraceptive methods were already covered under the Hobby Lobby heath plan and remain so now. These facts were spelled out in the text of both the Supreme Court and in the preceding Court of Appeals decision, both accessible online.

I am sure you will want to correct your story so it is accurate.


"The owners' beliefs as to when human life begins caused them offer the other 16 forms of contraception, but avoid coverage for those 4."

"Those 4" are widely used by tons of women, so "Hobby Lobby has opted out of providing coverage for birth control in employee health insurance plans" seems spot on. Maybe she should have added "unless you use one of the 16 Jesus-approved, but not nearly as effective forms of contraceptives approved by your boss," but then you would call it biased. Anyone wanting to dictate the family planning of their employees is a bad person in my opinion.


CSD: Our downtown craft store is the Plumb Bazaar, and it is located next door to Graves drug store. I don't buy much craft stuff, but when I do, the folks in there are very knowledgeable, and usually have whatever I am looking for. I don't see it as a gold mine these days, because folks struggling just to make a living here usually don't spend much money on craft stuff. I agree that a store like Hobby Lobby will close in a year or so, because they will only come here to make money. Without a doubt. the RDA deserves raises and hi-fives again!!

show me

Emporia is in such dire need of more manufacturing jobs, value-added businesses, etc with decent pay scales.
If Emporia can't/won't draw and support at least one Big Box store (Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, etc), it will always be seen as an economically weak location. Hobby Lobby isn't one of those type of stores. I don't think they're a bad store, just not really a good fit for Emporia, until there are more good paying jobs to support a family on and more disposable income.
Emporia is very economically depressed, with about 66% of the school kids on free/reduced lunches. Lyon County is something like 103 out of the 105 counties in Kansas in per-capita income. How many pay-day loan type of places in town.....not too much of an economic powerhouse.
Emporia needs to get more good paying jobs here before they develop a whole new area for Hobby Lobby, especially with giving them tax abatement and all the local $ it will take to develop the location. I think HL will close anyway after a year or so here.


Not a yea or nay on Hobby Lobby, but I believe Dayton's downtown is closed, fewcomments. What is the name of the "fine, locally owned, craft store downtown" you're referring to? I like to shop locally when I can, but I'm unaware of such a store.


wow you demos sure are mean spirited bunch of hypocrites,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,We often go to HL in Topeka to shop,great store that pays above average wage that have family values that demos hate ,,,,,,so in my opinion they are first class corp.


The question I would like to know is will the RDA give themselves a raise for bringing another "business" to your town? How many FULL TIME jobs will they bring? And how many part-time people will they screw around and only pay $8 an hour?


Interestingly we would shop at a new grocery store. We do not, and will not, shop at Hobby Lobby. We have a fine, locally owned, craft store downtown. There is no need for such a store to take our money out of town. Keep the money in Emporia.


I agree. There is NO need for Hobby Lobby, an Anti-Woman employer. Hobby Lobby masquerades in God's Shadow...using Religion to NOT cover needed abortions for Women.


This is an Important addition to my comment---HOBBY LOBBY uses "GOD" to avoid covering Women's Birth Control. If we had more birth control, we would have less crime, less brutal beatings, less brutal murders.


Obama made sure women can have their birth control, only now it doesn't come directly from their employers health plan (it comes from their federal taxes [beam] ) And all the women who use contraceptives will be saving an average of $295 every year. So while Hobby Lobby may not support contraceptives, they still pay for it indirectly. And Obama was right when he said there was no precedent for granting “a religious exemption” to commercial enterprises like Hobby Lobby. Especially when their religious opinions have a direct impact on employee health.


Hobby Lobby is a wonderful store and deserving of our business.


Hobby Lobby is NOT deserving of our Business. Hobby Lobby is anti-Woman.


Hobby Lobby willingly covers vasectomies and viagra. They also invested in a company that makes the Plan B pills. The vast majority of their items are also made in China (where forced abortions and selective killing of female babies is common. Their religious objections are a joke.

KB Thomas

I found this on the internet-Hobby Lobby Plans To Open 70 Stores.

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