JOPLIN, Mo. — The retail space that was once home to Toys R Us has been empty since July of 2018, but that will be changing.

A spokesperson for the city of Joplin confirms that a building permit for commercial improvement was filed by Big Lots a few weeks ago. Construction on the inside of the building is expected to take about eight weeks before it opens to the public.

There is currently a Big Lots store on Madison Street in Webb City. Efforts to reach the corporate office for the retailer have been unsuccessful, so it’s not known what impact the store opening in Joplin will have on the existing store in Webb City.