Hobby Lobby crafting new store near Hialeah’s Westland Mall

Rendering of the new Hobby Lobby, above, and current construction site, below
Rendering of the new Hobby Lobby, above, and current construction site, below

Hobby Lobby will open a massive, 44,000-square-foot store near Westland Mall in Hialeah, on a property that is currently under construction.

Arena Capital Holdings, a Miami-based real estate investment company, paid $3.75 million for the land at 1990 West 49th Street in Hialeah in January, the company’s manager Oscar Rodriguez Jr. told The Real Deal.

The outparcel to Westland Mall had previously been owned by Macy’s. The land, which was once the site of a Potamkin car dealership, had been vacant for about five years, Rodriguez said.

Construction began in the second quarter of this year and will be finished in early 2016, he said. City National Bank provided $7.5 million in construction financing.

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Hobby Lobby, based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is privately owned by David and Barbara Green. The company currently has more than 700 stores in the United States, including one other in Miami-Dade County, in the Kendall area, as well as in Broward and Palm Beach counties, in Davie, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, and Boca Raton.

The company, whose owners are deeply religious Christians, made headlines last year when it won a landmark Supreme Court case on religious freedom and government mandates, related to providing certain forms of contraceptive to employees.

According to a Daily Beast story posted on Monday, the Greens have been under federal investigation for the past four years for the illicit importation of cultural heritage from Iraq. The family has been amassing roughly 40,000 ancient artifacts for the Museum of the Bible, a new museum the Green family is funding, which is scheduled to open in Washington, D.C. in 2017.