Seth McMillan, Building Division manager for the city of Santa Maria, said building plans for Hobby Lobby’s renovations at the old Toys R Us building have been approved by city staff, and the company is now cleared to begin construction.
The Oklahoma City-based company filed building plans with the city in May for improvements at the 45,000-square-foot building located at 1411 S. Bradley Road, which has been vacant since Toys R Us closed all its stores last summer.
The company is expected to move into many former Toys R Us buildings around the country, according to the Wall Street Journal.
McMillan said the city is just waiting for Hobby Lobby to pick up its permits from the Building Division.
“In other words, the permit to construct is ready ... when they are,” he said.
The closest Hobby Lobby stores to Santa Maria are located in Oxnard and Bakersfield.
Hobby Lobby did not respond to questions about the Santa Maria location by press time.
Within the Crossroads development, national chains Golden Corral and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts both have plans for their first Santa Maria locations as well.
In March, crews began construction on two new buildings within the Crossroads development. One of the buildings, slated to be the home of Krispy Kreme’s Santa Maria location, is expected to wrap up construction in the next few weeks.
The doughnut-and-coffee chain is slated to move in during the fall, according to officials with Westar Associates, the firm that operates and manages the Crossroads development.
Krispy Kreme will occupy 2,750 square feet of the 5,500-square-foot building; the remaining space will be filled by commercial or medical tenants.
Once open, it will be the sole Krispy Kreme location in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
The other closest Krispy Kremes are both around 70 miles away, in Oxnard and Bakersfield.
The second larger building, which has no announced tenants yet, is scheduled to wrap up construction around the end of October.
Late last month, buffet chain Golden Corral announced it would be moving into another part of the Crossroads development, occupying a little over 11,000 square feet in the former R&R Furniture and Mattress store.
Van Ingram, vice president for franchise development at the all-you-can-eat buffet chain, said he could not provide a firm opening date, as the company needs to renovate the space for its use.
The company expects to hire well over 100 employees to staff its Santa Maria location, Ingram said.
Razi Syed covers Santa Maria City Government for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @razisyed
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