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NORMAL — Hobby Lobby is moving right across the street.

The company will vacate its 301 S. Veterans Parkway location in the Shoppes at College Hills and take over the former Gordmans at 306 S. Towanda Ave. in the same shopping center.

"An opening date has not been set. Until then, we will continue to provide super saving and super selection to our customers at our location at 301 S. Veterans Parkway," said Communications Director Bob Miller.

"Our Normal store opened in 1999. Over the years, we have established great relationships with many loyal customers. We look forward to providing an even better shopping experience at the new location."

The Oklahoma City-based company sells arts and crafts materials, party supplies, fabric and home decor items in large retail stores nationwide.

Miller did not comment on whether the company will add square footage, employees or products in the move.

The current Hobby Lobby building, a former department store, is 88,800 square feet, including 65,000 square feet of showroom space. The former Gordmans is 60,000 square feet.

A Hobby Lobby representative told The Pantagraph when the current store opened that it requires at least 40,000 to 50,000 square feet.

"In most relocations like this, our associates move to the new location," said Miller of whether the store's employee count will change.

Gordmans, an Omaha, Neb.-based clothing retailer, vacated its Normal location last year. The company built the building in 2005, and it became the first at the re-branded Shoppes at College Hills, at the site of the former College Hills Mall.

Gordmans still operates stores in Champaign, East Peoria, Peoria, Springfield and Fairview Heights.

"We are in discussion with multiple tenants in the fashion, discount apparel, and health and beauty categories to occupy the space once Hobby Lobby relocates," said Darcy Kennelly Rutzen, vice president of marketing at M & J Wilkow, the Chicago real estate company that manages the Shoppes.

Follow Derek Beigh on Twitter: @pg_beigh

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Normal and McLean County Reporter

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