The Colony business owners hope megastore will bring new customers

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 25 at 6:11 PM

Nebraska Furniture Mart

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THE COLONY - It's not Cowboys Stadium or an amusement park, but developers claim one of the largest furniture store in North America will bring in more visitors than either of them to The Colony -- eight million visitors per year.

The Nebraska Furniture Mart of Texas broke ground at a site just off the Sam Rayburn Tollway and Plano Parkway Tuesday. The massive stores sell items ranging from furniture and appliances to electronics and flooring. There are three other Nebraska Furniture Mart locations, including Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Kansas, and Clive, Iowa. The North Texas location is set to open in spring 2015.

It's expected to created 2,500 jobs and bring in people from the region. But will the Omaha, Nebraska-based outlet translate into new sales for local businesses like Lakes Lanes Bowling alley?

"I think it will bring them into the city," said Christine Newman, manager of the bowling alley. "You'll get word out, 'Hey, The Colony has a bowling alley.'"

Annette Mullinax and her husband own Bikes for Bikers motorcycle shop. She can only hope people who come to shop at the new superstore will venture north of Sam Rayburn Tollway, where most of the city's businesses are located.

"We don't have a crystal ball," Mullinax said. "So there's really no way of knowing. Hopefully, some of those people will be adventurous."

Barber Richard Ortega said he's more excited about the widening of Main street between the Rayburn Tollway and U.S. Highway 380, which could become a common route for Furniture Mart customers coming from the north.

"Us, being on Main Street, it will filter a lot of people in, new business," Ortega said.

Merchants News 8 talked to Tuesday say even if the 10-football-field-sized store does not benefit them with new business, it will be good for The Colony by providing new jobs, sales tax revenue and putting the town on the map.

"Instead of just driving by, we're hoping now they'll stop, [and] spend some time," said The Colony City Manager Troy Powell.

There are three other Nebraska Furniture Mart locations, including Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Kansas, and Clive, Iowa. The North Texas location is set to open in spring 2015.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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