Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

St. John Hardware approved for stateline site


August 15, 2019

The Whitman County board of adjustment approved a conditional use permit Aug. 8 to allow St. John Hardware and Implement to open a location on the former Hawkins property just west of the Washington-Idaho border.

No one spoke against the project at the public hearing.

The approval is the latest step in St. John Hardware’s plan to relocate from their site in north Moscow, which will become the location for a new building to house EMSI, a Moscow-based software company.

St. John Hardware plans to move to 10 acres of the former Hawkins property which has been purchased by Sand Road Bucklers, LLC.

“It’s moving along. Still some dominoes need to fall in the right places,” said Scott Hennessey, a co-owner of St. John Hardware.

“We’re building a new facility on the edge of Moscow; a newer, larger, more modern facility that accommodates the size of equipment.”

Plans are to begin construction this fall.

The land is part of a tax-sharing strip at the stateline in which Whitman County and Pullman split certain sales tax revenues.

A 21-day period is underway for any appeals to the conditional use permit decision.

If all is still clear, construction permits would be required next, such as for water and sewer/septic systems and a permit for state highway access.

“We’ll open next summer if all goes well,” Hennessey said.

The new operation would offer sales, service and parts for farm equipment as well as Carquest Auto Parts, all of which are now at the existing Moscow location.

St. John Hardware bought their current Moscow site in 1995 from the Helbling Brothers, a Case I-H dealer.

Plans are for the new shop/parts/office building to be 30,000 feet, one-third larger, with higher ceilings. The same crew will work there.

EMSI intends to build a 70,000-square-foot headquarters on part of the current St. John Hardware spot.

St. John Hardware has other locations at St. John, Airway Heights, Fairfield and Nez Perce, Idaho.

“We’re anxious and looking forward to making a big commitment to local farmers,” Hennessey said of the stateline move. “It’s a big investment on our part but we feel it’s a good place to invest.”

Sand Road Bucklers, LLC, is now in the process of creating a 10 acre subdivision from its 204 acres it bought last September.

Hawkins Companies of Boise planned to build a shopping center on the property that Whitman County at one time committed $15 million to pay for infrastructure.

After Hawkins sold the land, the county’s commitment ended.

Roy Druffel, a co-owner of Sand Road Bucklers, LLC, has initiated other proposals for developing other parts of the stateline property.


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