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Guzik Motors

Job Lot eyes spring opening at Ames

October 06, 2010
STURBRIDGE — The long-vacant Ames department store building will soon be given new life after two businesses set up shop there.

Ocean State Job Lot, the Rhode Island-based discount retailer, is planning to open a new store in the Sturbridge Plaza at 178 Main St. next March, confirmed Leslie Wong, administrative assistant of the Department of Inspectional Services. Wong was speaking on behalf of Building Inspector David G. Lindberg, who was out of the office. Wong said the department had not yet received an application for the building permit, but because the company is doing only minor renovations to the building, that process will be relatively easy.

"There is not a lot they need to do, the building is in fair condition," Wong said. "Some codes have changed, so they need to bring the building up to date."

Ocean State will share the old Ames building with Tractor Supply Co. The building has been vacant since Ames declared bankruptcy in 2002.

Ocean State Head of Marketing David Sarlitto said the company decided to open the store after doing market and traffic research and determined the plaza is a viable location. The rent for the building also fit the company's model, allowing it to keep overhead costs down and, consequently, have the flexibility to keep prices low.

"We look for a center population that we think would most likely appreciate the values we present," Sarlitto said. "Also, we need store retail space that is consistent with our goal of keeping prices low. We couldn't do that if we have tremendously high real estate costs."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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