A public hearing will be held next month regarding a conditional use permit that would allow St. John Hardware and Implement to build a store on the former Hawkins property on the Pullman-Moscow highway in Whitman County just west of the Moscow city limits.
According to the Whitman County Planning Commission’s agenda for this Wednesday’s meeting, a hearing for a St. John Hardware and Implement conditional use permit in the North Pullman-Moscow Corridor District is scheduled for Aug. 8 at the Whitman County Public Service Building in Colfax.
If St. John Hardware’s permit is approved, 10 acres of the 268-acre parcel of land would be set aside for the store, which sells farm equipment.
Whitman County Planner Alan Thomson said county code requires a conditional use permit for a new development to be built on the Pullman-Moscow Corridor District. The corridor includes the land that borders the highway.
The land on which St. John Hardware and Implement is looking to locate belongs to Sand Road Bucklers 2, which bought it from the Boise-based Hawkins Co. in August 2018.
Hawkins bought the land with a proposal to build a large shopping mall with big box stores and, in 2008, the county agreed to reimburse the company as much as $9.1 million for infrastructure.
The shopping center was never built, and instead the land was sold to Sand Road Bucklers 2, a Pullman firm, last summer.
During a July 1 Whitman County Commissioners meeting, the attorney for Sand Road Bucklers 2 said the firm is interested in using the land for mixed-use purposes with both commercial and residential developments.
Shelley Bennett of Palouse Commercial Real Estate told the Whitman County Commissioners during that meeting the land could be worth $12 million to $13 million based on conservative estimates. She said about 7,500 people from Latah County travel the highway every day to get to Whitman County.
An official with St. John Hardware and Implement told the Daily News on Monday the company did not want to comment on its plans.
St. John Hardware and Implement has Idaho locations in Moscow, at 202 W. A St., and Nezperce, and Washington locations in Fairfield, St. John and Airway Heights.
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to email@example.com.