Menards Blames Obama For Decision to Pull Plug on O'Fallon Site

The home-improvement chain recently withdrew plans to build a new store on the Lake Saint Louis-O'Fallon border.

The Suburban Journals reported Monday that a Menard's spokesman has blamed President Obama and his administration for Menard's decision to pull the plug on plans to build a new store in O'Fallon on Hwy. N south of I-64.

The development would have straddled the O'Fallon-Lake Saint Louis border, with the Menard's store itself in O'Fallon, but part of the parking lot and outlot businesses in Lake Saint Louis.

The Journal quoted an email from Menards spokesman Jeff Abbott: "I'm very sorry, but we are a family owned business and with the Obama Administration scaring the dickens out of all small businesses in the USA at present, we have decided not to risk expansion until things are more settled."

Patch reported Dec. 6 that documents were included in the agenda packet for that evening's meeting of the O'Fallon Planning and Zoning Commission to to withdraw the applications for the conditional use permit, site plan and rezoning for the project.

A St. Peters Menards store is being constructed on Spencer Road just south of I-70 and plans to open in the spring of 2013.


  • Menards No Longer Plans to Build in O'Fallon
Steve Blechle December 11, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Some times people are sincere when they say “Buy locally and stop the tax abatement and TIF bidding wars.” Others, while holding elected office support 48 million dollar TIF wholesale redevelopment projects aimed at removing over 100 of the small businesses they claim to support.
Shirlynn December 12, 2012 at 09:27 AM
Well said Steve and Cheryl! Menards is making excuses for their own poor planning. Menards is no small business. I live in Minnesota, they have had many stores here for over 30 years and have been expanding. Their main problem is Lowes moving into the area in MN! They call it free market competition; capitalism.
curly December 12, 2012 at 04:21 PM
History repeats itself folks.........this economy will have to brake before it can rebuild and get better. No sense in blaming just 1 person. As far as Menard's goes......who cares, do we really need another big greedy company in this area?????????
PMS December 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM
No Curly we do not. I can't even stand to drive down Hwy K. I only shop on the North side of town in O'Fallon or I take my buissness to St. Peter's or Wentzville. As far as Menards goes I won't be shopping there at that SMALL buissness either just because of their stupid statement.
Steve Blechle December 14, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Devon Seddon. That is NOT why TIF was conceived. TIF was designed for urban renewal not successful economic areas like O'Fallon. 1st lie, TIF revenue bonds won’t cost anything because bond debt is paid out of TIF revenues. Revenue bonds have higher interest than voter approved GO bonds because revenue bonds are ONLY secured by project revenues not by the “full faith and credit” of the issuing government. Revenue bonds have a higher chance of default from mismanagement - failure of the revenue source. 2nd lie is that revenue bond obligations do “not constitute indebtedness within the meaning of any constitutional, statutory or charter debt limitation or restriction.” If the city defaults on revenue bonds our bond rating plunges to junk bond status. In the future, even our GO bonds will carry a high interest rate; that’s the punishment the marketplace doles out to cities who default on their bonds. A Missouri State audit on O'Fallon (2003) agrees with this statement. Missouri’s TIF law has been abused by developers to leverage public taxes for private development. There are no rules for “blight”; they are whatever local politicians say they say they are. They can mean one thing this year and something else in five years. The truth is that there TIF “it-is-whatever- we-say-it-is" power protects no one but the city and their chosen developers. I am wondering how many folks posting here, stating this has nothing to do with Obama own a business.


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