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Biz Buzz: Second business unveiled for former J.C. Penney in Baxter

A HomeGoods store is moving into the smaller of the two spaces. the larger space will also have a familiar name joining the lakes area's retail draw.

J.C. Penney exterior in Baxter.
The second tenant is named in building permits for renovations for the former J.C. Penney building in Baxter.
Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch
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BAXTER — Permits filed with the city of Baxter revealed the name for the larger of two tenants moving into the former J.C. Penney building.

The new tenant taking over two-thirds of the building is a name that has been broached in the lakes area’s micropolitan before. But now it is official: Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. plans to take over the majority of the building vacated when J.C. Penney closed a host of stores.

Permit information on Hobby Lobby
Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. plans to take over the majority of the building vacated when J.C. Penney closed a host of stores.<br/><br/><br/>
Contributed

The building permit before the city is to renovate the interior space for Hobby Lobby. The construction project has a value of $2,752,689.

Plans for Hobby Lobby with exterior shown.
The building permit before the city is to renovate the interior space for Hobby Lobby. The construction project has a value of $2,752,689.<br/>
Contributed

As previously reported, a HomeGoods store is moving into the smaller of the two spaces.

J.C. Penney announced the store with its building plans submitted to the city of Baxter in late summer of 2007. Those plans called for a one-story, 83,000-square-foot building near the corner of Highway 371 and Glory Road by the Walmart Supercenter.

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Shoppers pour through the doors at the J.C. Penney Co. store in Baxter Thanksgiving afternoon.
Days gone by. Shoppers pour through the doors at the J.C. Penney Co. store in Baxter on a Thanksgiving afternoon. The store offered several Black Friday specials for early shoppers.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

At the time, there had been a long-standing rumor that J.C. Penney — then an anchor tenant at the East Brainerd Mall — would be moving to Baxter and the growing retail area by Walmart. J.C. Penney made the move to the new store in 2008. Its East Brainerd Mall site was later remodeled into office space for Ascensus.

More Biz Buzz:
HomeGoods would take the smaller of the two spaces in the renovated interior of the former big box store in Baxter.

Hobby Lobby reports it offers over 70,000 items featuring home decor, seasonal decor, tableware, floral, art supplies, craft supplies, yarn, fabric, jewelry making, hobbies and much more.

“In 1970, David and Barbara Green took out a $600 loan to begin making miniature picture frames out of their home,” Hobby Lobby states on its website. “Two years later, the fledgling enterprise opened a 300-square-foot store in Oklahoma City, and Hobby Lobby was born. Today, with more than 900 stores, Hobby Lobby is the largest privately owned arts-and-crafts retailer in the world with over 43,000 employees and operating in forty-seven states.”

In the spring of 2017, Baxter's J.C. Penney Co. was among 138 stores to be shuttered. It closed in July that year.

RENEE RICHARDSON, Brainerd Dispatch managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchBizBuzz .

Related Topics: LOCAL BUSINESSBIZ BUZZRETAILBAXTERLOCAL BUSINESS
Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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