While the Tractor Supply Co. store might look nearly complete from the outside, there still is considerable interior work to be done.
District manager Todd Blair reported this week the company is targeting Oct. 26 as the day the south Kankakee store will open. He said a formal grand opening will likely follow a week or two later.
“We are excited, but we still have a lot of work to do,” he said.
He said while the building’s exterior is largely finished, the parking lot still needs to be installed. Inside, electrical and plumbing systems still are being installed, meaning there is plenty of work ahead.
Once those systems are finished, the work of stocking the store begins.
Blair said stocking the store is roughly a four-week process.
The 19,097-square-foot store is located on 4.4 acres immediately south of RiverStone Parkway and across from the Walmart parking lot.
In addition to building the structure, the store manager also is busy building the staff. Prospective employees are currently being interviewed. The store will likely have a full- and part-time staff of about 15.
Tractor Supply was once a retail mainstay from 1971 to July 1993 in Bourbonnais when it was located immediately south of the Blain’s Farm & Fleet store.
The Kankakee store actually is being constructed by STNL Development of Cincinnati. Tractor Supply signed a long-term lease with STNL. STNL has developed and leased more than 100 Tractor Supply stores.
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Craig Blake devoted a large portion of his life to the students at Steuben Elementary School in Kankakee and school and community members are working to show their appreciation to him.
Blake died at the age of 61 in mid-April.
Since his untimely death, the public has been working on an honorary designation for the section of South Wildwood Avenue immediately west of the school.
The one-block section of Wildwood in the Kankakee’s 2nd Ward will carry the honorary designation of ”Craig Blake Way” if all goes according to plan.
Honorary street designation signage is placed just below the legal signage.
Blake, of Peotone, a physical education teacher, taught in the Kankakee school district for 40 years. Prior to Steuben, he taught at Kennedy Middle School. He also coached football, softball, wrestling and baseball at Kankakee High School.
In addition to Steuben, Blake also was involved in the neighborhood surrounding the school.
More than 400 signatures have been collected seeking the street designation.
Steuben teacher Rose Bailey told Kankakee City Council members Tuesday that Blake was known inside and outside the school for his selflessness and love of the community.
“He truly left his mark on Kankakee and the school system,” she said.