April 25, 2014

Tenants to fill vacant box stores

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Old Navy, A.C. Moore choose Williston locations

Nov. 18, 2010

By Tim Simard
Observer staff

Two large and noticeably vacant retail spaces in Taft Corners will soon house well-known national chain stores. Old Navy, a popular clothing store, will transfer into part of the space once occupied by Linens ‘n Things in Maple Tree Place. Crafting supply store A.C. Moore will move into the former Circuit City site. Both are tentatively scheduled to open during winter 2011.

Old Navy relocating from Burlington

Old Navy, which currently has a location on the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, announced its decision to move to a smaller site in the Champlain Valley this past August. Since then, rumors abounded that the retailer would choose Williston as its next home. Those rumors were confirmed on Nov. 4, when Old Navy submitted paperwork to the town’s Planning Department.

Ron Redmond, executive director for Church Street Marketplace, said he expects the retail giant will have its last day in Burlington on Feb. 28, 2011. He said two occupants will split the roughly 25,000 square foot space, one of which will be Panera Bread.

The café has also expressed interest in opening in a proposed Williston development.

Old Navy is a subsidiary of Gap Inc., which runs several different brands under its name, including Gap and Banana Republic. Old Navy currently has more than 1,000 stores across North America.

Part of the reason the retailer decided to leave Burlington was a desire for a smaller location, said Yves Bradley, vice president of commercial brokerage for Pomerleau Real Estate. The Williston location will have approximately 17,000 square feet, with 13,500 square feet of retail floor space.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is currently expanding its neighboring store into a portion of the former Linens ‘n Things space.

Bradley wasn’t sure of the exact date of Old Navy’s Williston opening, but said, “Ideally, they’d want to be open March 1.” He was still waiting to hear if the store signed a lease with Maple Tree Place, which he expected would happen shortly. Representatives with Maple Tree Place and Gap Inc. did not return calls to the Observer by press deadline.

A.C. Moore to open first Vermont store

The arts and crafts business A.C. Moore is looking to occupy the former Circuit City store in Taft Corners sometime in February, according to a company spokesperson. It will be the company’s first store in Vermont and, at 27,500 square feet, also one of its largest sites, said A.C. Moore’s Marketing Manager Jacquie Panto.

The craft retailer, based in New Jersey, has 135 stores located mostly along the eastern seaboard. Panto said the business will employ up to 40 full- and part-time employees.

Jeff Nick, co-owner and president of J.L. Davis Realty, said he’s excited by the prospect of A.C. Moore’s arrival. J.L. Davis owns the former Circuit City store.

“It’s nice to fill a vacancy with a great tenant,” Nick said.

Along with arts and crafts supplies, A.C. Moore will feature a large floral department, bridal and other specialty party supplies and a custom framing center.

“We attract the do-it-yourself kind of person,” Panto said of A.C. Moore’s customer base.

The company also raises money for nonprofit research centers and other groups, and Panto said the Williston store will be involved in those programs.

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