JOHNSTOWN - The owner of the Johnstown Shopping Center says construction on the proposed new T.J. Maxx department store there should begin this spring and open for business about a year from now.
"We are hopeful that construction will start this spring on T.J. Maxx," said Michael Wachs, owner of Pennsylvania-based Johnstown Comrie Associates. "We're putting all the pieces and motions in place for a fall 2013 opening."
The proposal was first announced in January, and construction was originally slated to begin by the end of this year. Wachs didn't indicate why there has been a delay this year.
T.J. Maxx has proposed a 23,400-square-foot store as an addition next to Romana's restaurant, on the north end of the Johnstown Shopping Center, off the Route 30A arterial. The store would be accessible from the shopping center's parking lot and from Fisher Avenue.
Based in Framingham, Mass., T.J. Maxx has about 1,000 locations nationwide and sells brand-name family apparel, accessories, shoes, gifts and jewelry at discount prices, according to its website.
"Unlike department stores that buy seasonally, we have thousands of fresh items delivered to our stores every week," the website says.
Dominick Madia, president of National Structures of Syracuse, which will build the addition to the shopping center, and engineer Peter V. Giovenco of Bergmann Associates of Rochester, told city Planning Board officials earlier this year that the new T.J. Maxx store could create at least 15 retail jobs.
Wachs declined to confirm that specific number of employees.
"I do feel it will be a great blessing to the communities of Gloversville and Johnstown," said Wachs, who also owns the Johnstown Mall across the highway. "T.J. Maxx is one of the most prominent merchants in America today."
Earlier this year, Wachs said he feels the store will nicely compliment the area's shopping needs, complimenting another big retail project - the Walmart Supercenter coming to Gloversville. That store also is slated to open in 2013.
The city Planning Board in February declared itself the lead agency for a state Environmental Quality Review for the T.J. Maxx project. The board has approved the site plan for the new store.
The state Historic Preservation Office in Waterford, Saratoga County, earlier this year asked to be included an interested party in the SEQR process. But Johnstown Fire Chief Bruce Heberer, the city's code enforcement officer, later said there were no SEQR issues of historical significance at the site.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.