Menards pays $5 million for land next to Richfield store

The Menards home-improvement chain has bought property next to its existing store in Richfield for $5 million, but it wouldn't say Monday what its plans are.

The owners of the land, Yik and Yau Lo of Woodbury, sold the 2.2-acre spot to Eau Claire, Wis.-based Menard Inc. last Thursday, according to documents filed Monday in the Hennepin County assessor's office. The Los paid $2.13 million for the site in 2002, property records show.

The spot is home to Jun Bo, a banquet-hall-sized Chinese restaurant that opened in 2006 in the former Chi-Chi's spot at 7717 Nicollet Av. S. The restaurant is next to the existing Menards store along Interstate 494.

Menards wouldn't comment on the purchase. The company has 258 stores in 13 states, with more than 20 stores in the Twin Cities area. Locally, it's been updating its locations with a lot of tear-down/rebuilds. Last month, it opened its latest store in Minnesota, in Eden Prairie, which was a tear-down/rebuilt. It's getting ready to raze a 128,000-square-foot store in Golden Valley and replace it with a two-story store that's about 250,000 square feet, modeled after the two-story store it built in 2004 in St. Paul, according to Golden Valley's director of planning and development.

Melissa Poehlman, Richfield's city planner, said the retailer has indicated that it is interested in expanding the Richfield store, which doesn't have a lumberyard. She said the city would be pleased to see the store grow.

Meanwhile, Jun Bo continues to serve up dim sum -- a sort of Cantonese brunch with small dishes, such as barbecued pork buns. Kee Lo, the restaurant's manager, said he has no plans to move because he doesn't know what the retailer has planned.

Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683

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