TICONDEROGA - The arrival of Lowe's could mark the beginning of a business boon in Ticonderoga.
That's the belief of local real estate agents Jorja and Lew Sanders.
"It's important that we, as a community, support this store," Jorja Sanders said at the formal opening of Lowe's March 5. "It's an investment in ourselves. Other developers are looking to see what Lowe's saw in this community."
Sanders Realty and Property Management, owned by the couple, played a key role in attracting Lowe's to Ticonderoga and is working to bring other businesses.
They said there are presently in negotiations to bring two retail stores to the town and to re-open a vacant business - although they declined to give any specifics.
Bringing new business to a community is a long and difficult process, Jorja Sanders said.
When first contacted by Lowe's about possible building sites in Ti, Sanders Realty spent several days showing a representative around town. They then spent nine months collecting statistics on population, incomes, traffic, building permits and more for the entire region for Lowe's officials.
It took Lowe's management three months to make a decision, then another 15 months to gain approval from the Ticonderoga planning board.
Finally, after nearly three years, construction on the Ticonderoga Lowe's started.
"It was a very difficult process for them (Lowe's)," Jorja Sanders said. "If it were me, I would have probably given up."
The hard work was all worth it, Lew Sanders said.
"We want to make this a better community for all," Lew Sanders said. "This is a real boost to the community."
David Lilkas, Lowe's Ticonderoga store manager, welcomed local dignitaries and visitors to the store opening. He briefly discussed the history of the Lowe's chain and expressed optimism about the future of the new store.
"I invite everyone to let us help you with your home projects," Lilkas said.
He then presented a $1,000 donation to the Connecting Youth and Communities (CYC) program and announced a promotion to assist Habitat for Humanity.
Ticonderoga Supervisor Bob Dedrick welcomed Lowe's to the community and pointed to the economic impact of a large store.
"This is a tremendous boon to our town because of the jobs and tax revenues it creates," Dedrick said. "Most importantly, Lowe's will employ 112 local people."
The $12 million store is located at 1092 Wicker St. It has 102,000 square feet of space and stocks 32,000 items.
With fiscal year 2007 sales of $48.3 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a Fortune 50 company that serves approximately 14 million customers a week at more than 1,650 home improvement stores in the United States and Canada.
Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe's is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information visit Lowes.com.