A national retailer is coming to Ticonderoga. Runnings, a privately-held chain based in Minnesota, plans to move into the former Lowe’s building on Wicker Street. The store is expected to open next spring.
A national retailer is coming to Ticonderoga.
Runnings, a privately-held chain based in Minnesota, plans to move into the former Lowe’s building on Wicker Street. The store is expected to open next spring.
“We’re evaluating a building in Ticonderoga,” Dennis Jensen, Runnings director of marketing, said. “The transaction is pending, but we feel very confident our store will be open in Ticonderoga in the spring next year.”
Lowe’s closed its 102,000 square feet building in 2011. It has been vacant since.
Runnings offers a wide variety of items, Jensen said, including sporting goods, clothing, footwear, tools, home goods, lawn and garden supplies, toys, pet supplies, farm goods and more.
“All of the sorts of things people need for their lives can be found in Runnings,” he said. “You can think of us as lots of different stores under one roof. We have many different departments.”
Jensen said Runnings will utilize the entire building.
The company, which was formed in 1947 by Norman “Red” Running, has been owned by Dennis and Adele Reed since the mid 1980s.
Runnings employs more than 1,300 people at its 34 stores in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.
“We’re excited to be expanding to the East,” Jensen said. “We feel there will be a nice fit between our stores and our new customers. We have a strong rural connection and feel we can be very competitive in the area.”
Runnings plans to open stores in Rome, Gloversville and Canandaigua this fall. Stores in Ticonderoga, Clay and Claremont, N.H., are expected to open in spring 2015.
The Ticonderoga store will employ 60 or more people, Jensen said, not counting contractors needed to renovate the existing Lowe’s building.
“We are excited about the possibility of Runnings retail store opening in Ticonderoga in the former Lowe’s building on Wicker Street,” Matthew Courtright, Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, said. “We have kept ongoing communication with the leasing company for the building and in November of 2013 we were contacted by Runnings to provide a variety of information and resources.
“We will continue to work with Runnings as the process of them locating in Ticonderoga, hopefully, continues,” he said. “It is our understanding that the transaction is pending and Runnings is currently working through the process. They are hopeful and have every intention of moving forward with the possibility of opening in the spring of 2015 in Ticonderoga. We will continue to work closely with the company and provide them with the services and resources needed as they expand into the New York market.”
North Country Community College had been looking at the former Lowe’s building. In December the state agreed to fund a feasibility study of a plan to expand the college’s Ti campus to the former Lowe’s building, creating an applied technology center.
That proposal is still alive, according to Chattie Van Wert, Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance executive director. The alliance has been working with NCCC on the plan.
“As Steve Tyrell (NCCC president) shared with everyone last September, and noted recently, if the Lowe’s facility is sold the NCCC feasibility study can look at another property in Ti,” Van Wert said.
If the project becomes reality, NCCC will expand its degree programs in Ticonderoga. Specific curriculum have not yet been identified, but NCCC President Dr. Steve Tyrell expects an emphasis on green technology.
NCCC has asked other colleges, both two- and four-year institutions, to participate in the Ti program.
The Ticonderoga program would be based on a similar program at SUNY-Alfred, where Tyrell worked before coming to NCCC. The Alfred program offers college-level carpentry, masonry, electrician and other construction trade training. It also integrates energy conservation, alternative energy use and sustainable building design education and training into its academic programs, focusing on green building technologies in New York State.
Tyrell said the proposed applied technology center could serve up to 450 students and could open in the fall of 2016. It will have no impact on the existing Ticonderoga campus or its programs, Tyrell said.