BAZETTA - Demolition of the former Walmart building on Elm Road is under way to make way for construction of a planned Menards home improvement store.
Demolition permits for the Walmart structure were issued by the Trumbull County Building Department in recent weeks and the project is now in the works. Demolition permits did not indicate specific square footage or dollar figures. No building plans have been filed yet with the county department, but Menards officials previously said the new store was expected to be about 245,000 square feet, or about 120,000 square feet larger than the former Walmart building.
Wisconsin-based Menards announced plans for the Warren store about a year ago, and finalized the $2.45 million purchase of the property in August. The store will be the eastern-most location for the 50-year-old company which operates more than 270 stores in 14 states, mostly the Midwest. No official timeline has been established for demolition and construction.
Tribune Chronicle / Alisa Manna
The former Walmart building on Elm Road is being torn down to make way for a new Menards, which is a Wisconsin-based home improvement company.
Calling the demolition a "deconstruction project," Menards spokesman Jeff Abbott said Wednesday that much of the building and materials are being dismantled so they may be salvaged, reused or recycled.
"Although observers might think we're just tearing down a building, the Warren project is much more than that," Abbott said.
Demolition, he explained, is fast and inexpensive, but usually leaves materials damaged and unavailable for re-use, meaning they end up in the landfill. The relatively new practice of deconstruction, by comparison, involves systematic disassembly of a building, with the purpose of recovering valuable materials for reuse in construction, renovation or manufacturing into new products, Abbott said.
"It may cost us more and take a bit longer to do it this way, but the benefits are sending less waste to the landfill and reducing use of our natural resources," Abbott said. "We're committed to support recycling and material re-use in our building projects. It's just the right thing to do."
Local contractor DiPaolo Industrial Development of Girard, spearheading the demo project, is expected to salvage steel, sheet metal, copper, aluminum, block and brick from the former Walmart location.
Menards will salvage electrical panels, light fixtures, parking lot lights, air compressors, transformers, glass, aluminum framing and a variety of other materials to be used in future building projects. Menards will also grind up the asphalt and concrete to be used as base material when constructing the new store.
"We love having stores in Ohio and are excited to have this property ready to go once we finalize our plans," Abbott said.
The company has said it expects to hire about 150 workers, including about 50 full-timers.
Walmart relocated further north to Millennium Boulevard off Elm Road in 2008. The building has remained vacant since then.