ST. PAUL, MN-Hardware chain Menards is reportedly close to putting a store on the former Knox Lumber site on Prior Avenue near University Avenue. Ever since Payless Cashways, which was reorganizing under bankruptcy protection, said it would close theKnox store last summer, city and community officials have sought to fill the void left by Knox since summer.

Atlanta-based Home Depot, which is looking to put a store in the city, had looked at the site but discussions never progressed.

Menards recently won the bid for the site in bankruptcy court, and all that’s left is for the Eau Claire, WI-based home improvement chain to close on the property.

The eight-acre property at 573 Prior Ave. has been vacant since Oct. 15.

Home Depot still may be interested in developing the property on the southwest corner of Lexington Parkway and University Avenue. The company previously had considered such a plan but backed out after financing fell through.

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