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Old Home Fabric Mills Store To Become Dollar Tree

June 18, 2009 by Josh Morgan

After sitting vacant for more than a year, the old Home Fabric Mills building on South Main Street is getting a complete makeover in anticipation of a new client — Dollar Tree.
Scheduled to open this fall, Dollar Tree’s newest store will be located at 882 S. Main St. in the four decades old building. However, when the new store opens in a few months, the building and property will look completely different, according to the landlord, Olympia Properties, LLC of New Haven.
In the spring of 2008, Olympia Properties purchased the 10,000-square-foot building for $1.35 million. In the time since then, the company tried feverishly to find a tenant to fill the space in the heart of Cheshire. According to Dennis Nicotra, a principal with Olympia Properties, companies such as Subway, Starbucks, and Nardelli’s Grinder Shoppe expressed an interest in leasing the space, but plans fell through when the economy plummeted.
“Most went to the wayside when the economy crashed in the fall of 2008,” Nicotra said. “Just recently, Dollar Tree discovered the space and thought it would be a perfect spot.”
Currently, large holes have been opened up on the building to allow workers with their equipment access to the space. According to Nicotra, the entire building is being redone with new electrical and plumbing, and old six-foot doorframes are being increased to eight-foot heights.
“It will all be brand new,” he said. “We are in the demo stage now and are about to start the repair stage.”
The five-year lease was signed a few weeks ago, Nicotra said, after Dollar Tree viewed the property and “thought it would be perfect.” Chris Nicotra, also with Olympia Properties, said the company does demographic and market research before considering a new location and found the Cheshire site suitable for a new store.
“They wanted to make sure the store would succeed,” he said. “It will basically be a brand new building and new property. Everyone is excited.”
Dollar Tree has more than 3,500 stores nationwide and the company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. It was started more than 50 years ago and had more than $4 billion in sales the each of the past two years.
Cheshire Economic Development Coordinator Gerald Sitko said, “In this economy, that type of chain and product is doing quite well.” He noted that Dollar Tree has a lot of stores across the country, many of which have been successful. Sitko hoped that the property would be “well landscaped, upgraded, and maintained” with Dollar Tree as a tenant.
“This helps diversify the businesses,” Sitko said. “It’s all market driven. They feel there is a demand here and think they will do well.”
Sitko could not recall Cheshire having a “dollar store” since he’s been in Cheshire and thought the closest was Richlin Department Store, located where Staples is in the south end of town.
While most Dollar Tree outlets are standard box stores, Nicotra said he made a deal with the company to enhance its look.
“We wanted it to look more upscale than a typical store. We didn’t want a square box store,” Dennis Nicotra said. “We have a great deal of respect for the town and the location. It will be aesthetically pleasing.”
He compared the style to the new CVS directly across the street. There will be columns, brick, and stucco, as well as new landscaping and low profile lighting.
The 1.5-acre site is full of wooded areas and Nicotra explained the plans were to expand the parking lot into those areas. Overall, he said, Olympia Properties has the say on the look of the outside property, while Dollar Tree will outfit the interior.
“The work is going very fast and they intend to be open in the fall,” Nicotra said. “In light of the economic situation, we are very pleased. We are satisfied.”
Chris Nicotra said Dollar Tree has been opening around 200 stores a year and the “stock is doing extremely well right now.” He said from school and office supplies, to toys, games, and health care items, to kitchenware, Dollar Tree has everything for $1.
“They have an extensive array of merchandise,” he said. “The hope is to be open during the fall in time for the Christmas season.”

Comments

Dollar Store

July 13, 2009 by Michelle317, 5 years 6 weeks ago
Comment: 35

I don't know what all the fuss is over the Dollar Store. Just because the newspaper said in these economic times it's not that bad of an idea.

Oh! That's right...we are in Cheshire,we're all a better class than shopping at a Dollar Store. How come I live in Cheshire, and shop in Shop Rite, and Walmart in Wallingford and see guess what...Cheshire residents.

A bargain is a bargain. Doesn't mean I won't shop at other local stores. As long as the place is clean and they pay their taxes I will check out the dollar store too. The fact remains the store has been vacant for a year, and nobody in this economy bit. How long did you expect the owners to wait to rent it?

To those doubters, get over it.

Dollar Tree; Money Idea!

June 23, 2009 by Michael Sutherland, 5 years 9 weeks ago
Comment: 30

Honestly, I think this is the worst idea the town of Cheshire has had in a while. Dollar Tree's are mainly in low-class areas in low-class shopping centers. I'd love to see the hearing when this got approved, having the members of the town say those are the types of people they want to attract to our town. Congradulations, we are going to have more low-class shmucks in the center of town increasing the crime rate. Seriously, what a great idea! In all honesty I hope it fails within the first month because it is just an embarresment. I thought I lived in a town with some self-respect; I guess I was wrong. A little food for thought, how do you people think they get most of their products for so cheap? Answer: foreign countries that are ruining our economy, use child labor, are communist, basically everything awful. In conclusion, before you people make a decision for the town, how about you think for a second.

Open Minded

June 20, 2009 by Kelly, 5 years 9 weeks ago
Comment: 28

I am a huge supporter of small, local, and family business ventures and I love our community here in Cheshire. However, during these economic times I don't know anyone that couldn't use a bargain. Furthermore, I don't think a store that sells common household items at a discount price changes the status of our town, at least no more than the McDonalds next door or the correctional facility just up the road.

Disappointed

June 19, 2009 by anonymous1 (not verified), 5 years 9 weeks ago
Comment: 26

South Main St is officially becoming Queen St. An "upscale dollar store"? It shows to everyone that still has an illusion that Cheshire is a relatively affluent town what outside entities think of us. We have nickled and dimed our budgets, stripped our schools, and now we have become something none of us want.
The larger disappointment comes from the editor of the Herald who stated that a dollar store is good for Cheshire. Maybe it is time for another new editor with more respect for our community.
Perhaps Cheshire Economic Development Coordinator Gerald Sitko may recall a store in the Cheshire Shopping Center that tried a similar tact, but didn't quite make it.

Are you kidding me???

June 18, 2009 by kateck (not verified), 5 years 10 weeks ago
Comment: 25

So, the Dollar Tree is a good idea? Are you kidding me? I now believe Cheshire is officially hitting rock bottom. It is also appalling to me that The Herald will promote this on the front of the paper as well as support it in its editorial. Guess what? It is a bad idea for Cheshire! How about the local papers spend some time promoting the locally owned businesses that are left! I’m sure the Dollar Tree is going to do wonders to help fund raiser for all our local causes…not! Why don’t local businesses survive in Cheshire well let’s start with the Herald!

$ Tree

June 18, 2009 by Anonymous, 5 years 10 weeks ago
Comment: 24

There goes the neighborhood!

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