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SPRINGFIELD, OR-Home Depot is days away from filing for approvals to construct a 100,000-sf store here on a grass-seed field near 28th Street and Marcola Road, in the Hayden Bridge area.

A source with the company says management is in final negotiations with the owner of the property for a long-term lease, all contingent upon the home improvement retailers ability to build on the property. The land is owned by a family trust controlled by Eugene businessman Al Pierce.

The company plans to have the necessary city approvals by the end of next year’s first quarter, break ground sometime in the second quarter, and open up shop in early 2002. Of course, this was all before Home Depot shares sank more than 28% Thursday following its announcement that third quarter and year-end earnings would fall short of analyst estimates.

Investors chopped a startling $31.98 billion off the company’s value. Shares hit new 52-week lows and closed at $35.13, off $13.81 for the day. The warning from such a premier U.S. retailer – combined with growing problems in the Mideast – is blamed for pulling down the rest of the sector and broader markets as well.

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