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Hobby Lobby to move into old Costco

Hobby Lobby will expand into Southern Oregon next spring, occupying a significant chunk of the former Costco location on Crater Lake Highway.

The Oklahoma City-based firm is the largest privately owned arts-and-crafts retailer in the world, with 789 locations, more than 32,000 employees and stores in 47 states.

A company spokesperson anticipates an April opening.

"There isn't a scheduled grand opening date yet," Hobby Lobby's Diane Gudahl said. "There are a lot of things on the move when you're dealing with construction and property."

Hobby Lobby has rapidly expanded, opening 50 stores in 2017 with another 50 on the drawing board for 2018. The company frequently remodels large retail structures exited by Sports Authority, JCPenney and others.

Although the figures vary widely, Gudahl said the average Hobby Lobby is 55,000 square feet and employs 35 to 50 full- and part-time employees.

Demolition has begun, and the Costco fueling station on the corner of  Crater Lake Highway and Cardinal Avenue has been removed.

"The turnaround time for getting a store ready depends on the property," Gudahl said. "We tend not to do a lot of fourth-quarter because that's our busy season, but we'll start hitting it hard in January."

The firm's genesis goes back to 1970, when founders David and Barbara Green began making miniature picture frames in their home. Two years later, they moved into a 300-square-foot store in Oklahoma City.

Hobby Lobby's corporate headquarters include a 9.2 million-square-foot manufacturing, distribution and office complex. The do-it-yourself and decor stores carry picture framing, jewelry making, fabrics, floral and wedding supplies, along with cards and party ware, baskets, wearable art, home accents and holiday merchandise. The stores host classes such as card making, stamping and acrylic painting.

— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness or www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.

Hobby Lobby to move into old Costco