WATERVILLE — A Hobby Lobby store is scheduled to open next year in the former Kmart space at Elm Plaza, a company spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

Hobby Lobby, with corporate offices in Oklahoma City, sells items including arts and craft supplies, fabric, cards, wedding and party items, baskets and holiday merchandise, according to its website.

Framers build the facade of the new Hobby Lobby building under construction Wednesday at the Elm Plaza in Waterville. Kmart formerly operated at the site.

Waterville Code Enforcement Officer Dan Bradstreet said the city this year issued electrical, plumbing and building permits to Hobby Lobby.

The company spokeswoman, who declined to give her name, confirmed that a lease has been signed for a Hobby Lobby store for Elm Plaza and construction started in September. The store is scheduled to open in 2020, but she said she did not know when.

Asked how many employees would be at the store, she said she did not have access to that information.

In 1970, David and Barbara Green borrowed $600 to start making miniature picture frames in their home and that was the start of the business according to Hobby Lobby’s website.

“Two years later, the fledgling enterprise opened a 300-square-foot store in Oklahoma City, and Hobby Lobby was born,” the website says. “Today, with more than 850 stores, Hobby Lobby is the largest privately owned arts-and-crafts retailer in the world with over 37,500 employees and operating in 46 states.”

Hobby Lobby currently has stores in Auburn and Bangor.

The website lists Hobby Lobby’s values:

  • Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.
  • Offering customers exceptional selection and value.
  • Serving our employees and their families by establishing a work environment and company policies that build character, strengthen individuals and nurture families.
  • Providing a return on the family’s investment, sharing the Lord’s blessings with our employees and investing in our community.

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