Hobby Lobby is coming to Mount Vernon.

The Sanson Group and Wanxiang American Real Estate Group own the Times Square Mall and the two groups, along with Pine Tree Commercial Realty, came to an agreement with Hobby Lobby for nearly 53,000 square feet of space.

“Kicking off with Hobby puts our leasing of the soon-to-be-vacant areas of the center in fast gear,” Bruce Boruszak, pine tree executive vice president, said in a news release Wednesday.

Bourszak added, we expect to announce additional major new leases in the coming weeks.

This will be the first Hobby Lobby in Mount Vernon, with the closet listed in Carbondale and Fairview Heights, one about 45 and the other about 60 miles away.

Mayor Mary Jane Chesley said she is ecstatic about the new addition.

“We are absolutely happy to welcome Hobby Lobby to our city. Pine Tree and its partners have really been instrumental in establishing a relationship with a national retailer that is a perfect fit for our community,” Chesley said.

Hobby Lobby said it is just as excited to come to the community.

“We feel the market is underserved and we can bring a very unique shipping experience to the area. We are looking forward to becoming part of the community,” Hobby Lobby’s Vincent Parker said in a statement.

Hobby Lobby will train a store manager and co- manager at another store, and then they will relocate them to Mount. Vernon store. They will be hiring from 30 to 50 local employees.

Opening is planned for the first quarter of 2014.

618-351-5823

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