Demolition is expected to start this month on the former Loblaw’s grocery store to make way for a new Stewart’s Shop, which Gloversville leaders welcome as an improvement to one of the city’s main entry points.
The property sits in the town of Johnstown on East Fulton Street, just outside the city of Gloversville, and was the source of some tension between the town and city earlier this year when city leaders attempted to block the use of city water and sewer at the site.
Stewart’s spokeswoman Maria D’Amelia said Wednesday demolition of the vacant and crumbling Loblaw’s grocery store will likely start the week of Aug. 17 and take about two weeks.
“If everything goes as scheduled, if we can get started the week that we’re hoping, we’re looking towards the end of October to open,” she said.
The city’s efforts to refuse water and sewer service were thwarted in April by a contract from 1985 that guarantees city water and service to certain areas of the town, including that property.
The issue was then put to rest entirely when the city and Fulton County signed the SMART Waters deal in June that allows the county to buy excess water and sewer capacity for a planned countywide system to provide those services to underserved areas.
Under the agreement, the city will provide an average of 2 million gallons of water a day to the county for the next 40 years at the same rate paid by city residents. The county, in turn, will pay the city 15 percent of revenue generated by the 1 percentage point county sales tax hike imposed in 2005 and renewed every two years by the state Legislature.
“I think it’s great,” Gloversville Mayor Dayton King said of the new Stewart’s Shop. “Ultimately, it’s going to have a positive impact on Fulton County and our city.”
According to D’Amelia, the shop is going to be an expansion and improvement over the current Stewart’s Shop located just across the street from Loblaw’s, with more fresh food and other offerings.
The company has already added five part-time employees to the staff of 13 at the current location in anticipation of transferring them all over to the new shop, she said. In all, the new shop will have 20 employees, mostly part-time.
She said the current shop is scheduled to close the day the new one opens.
“There will be a lot of parking and accessibility, but there will actually be a lot of landscaping,” she said. “It will look a lot greener than it currently is.”
King said the Stewart’s will “clean up” the East Fulton Street entrance to the city.
“That Loblaw’s has been there for over a decade, just an eyesore, and really it’s the first thing people see when they come into the city,” he said. “So to see a new Stewart’s coming in I think would be great.”
Reach Gazette reporter Kyle Adams at 723-0811, [email protected] or @KyleRAdams on Twitter.