Lowe’s plans to come to Kenai

Posted: Friday, January 13, 2006


  Lowe┐s Home Improvement Warehouse has plans to build in Kenai. Their closest store is now located in Anchorage. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse has plans to build in Kenai. Their closest store is now located in Anchorage.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Now comes Lowe’s.

The city of Kenai has received a lease application from Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse, which would like to build a retail and garden center across Marathon Road from the proposed Wal-Mart Super Center.

Mayor Pat Porter and acting City Manager Chuck Kopp announced Thursday that the retailer wants to build a 139,000 square-foot store and 32,000 square-foot garden center on 15 acres of city land.

The parcel borders the Homer Electric Association access road on the north, three privately owned vacant lots on Airport Way to the west and nine smaller vacant lots to the south.

One of the smaller lots would need to be purchased by Lowe’s in order to build an access road to Airport Way, Kopp said.

If the lease is approved, Lowe’s indicated construction would begin in April 2007 with completion in February 2008.

Kopp said the estimated value of the improvement is approximately $15 million, and said estimated tax revenue to the city would be about half that estimated for the proposed Wal-Mart, which was put at $1 million annually.

He also said a store the size of the planned Lowe’s center would provide “at least 100 jobs.”

Included in a preliminary site plan is a planned parking lot for 683 vehicles plus 14 spaces for handicapped access.

In a lease application submitted by Lounsbury and Associates Inc., of Wasilla, the company said, “Site location, landscaping, layout and driveway accesses are designed to assist in breaking up the appearance of large expanses of parking.”

Interior islands in the parking lot would be landscaped as would perimeter islands, for visual screening.

Vehicle access to the store would be from Airport Way as well as two driveways off Marathon Road. Additional access would be from the HEA access road.

Lounsbury is the same engineering firm representing Wal-Mart in its planned development of a 235,000 square-foot combination grocery and general merchandise store on 37 acres of airport property behind the Kenai Chrysler Center. The Wal-Mart plan was announced in October.

Porter said Thursday, “We’re really excited about this. This is really a good development for the city of Kenai.”

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