TJ Maxx applies for sign permit in Manchester

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MANCHESTER — The town of Manchester received an application for a sign permit for TJ Maxx on Sept. 5 ending, perhaps, one of the worst-kept secrets in town.

Despite rampant rumors that TJ Maxx was moving into the Manchester Shopping Center at 263 Depot St., the company refused to comment on it and the owner of the shopping plaza would not confirm who "Tenant A" was on plans approved by the town.

The application for the sign permit was the first official confirmation that TJ Maxx is Tenant A on the application.

"Plans submitted to the town of Manchester that show the locations of what we call Tenant A," said Kerry McCormack, asset manager and director of development for Crosspoint Associates. "We work with a lot of retail tenants and they tend to like to control the communication of their marketing. Larger tenants tend to have a procedure of how they handle new stores."

Efforts to confirm plans with TJX Companies, which owns TJ Maxx, failed.

"Although we appreciate your inquiry, TJ Maxx has not announced a new store for Manchester, VT," wrote Katie MacLeod, a public relations specialist for TJ Maxx, in an email.

Efforts to solicit additional details resulted in a follow-up email.

"When opening new stores, we tend to announce our plans when we believe the time is right to do so competitively," MacLeod wrote. "Generally speaking, it is our practice not to announce store openings until close to an intended opening date."

The plaza, will have some work done over the winter in preparation.

Recently, the Village Picture Shows closed down after the lease was not renewed. The new tenant needs more space, which encroached into the space used by the movie theater.

McCormack addressed the Manchester Development Review Board at a meeting over the summer to explain some of the changes.

He said Price Chopper will be staying where it is.

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Sherwin-Williams will be moving down to the end where the movie theater was formerly located and "Tenant A," now understood to be TJ Maxx will occupy the space between the two.

"We are working to get everything prepared," McCormack said in a phone interview recently. "We're going to start construction this fall and go through the winter. A spring opening would be the goal."

The original plans for the Manchester Shopping Center were to bring in a new grocery store. McCormack said those plans were abandoned after they were unable to reach an agreement with state officials over Act 250 hurdles.

"We had submitted plans to the town and went through the process to change the grades to accommodate the flood storage and flood proofing of the facilities," McCormack told members of the DRB in July. "We submitted to Act 250 and there the project got hung up and received a number of challenges that were just too large to overcome."

McCormack said the plans then were to use the shopping center as it is and find a tenant that didn't require major modifications.

"So, now, we're reverting back to the ultimate plan to reuse the existing facility and retenant the facility as it is structured today," McCormack said. "We're not changing the square footage, we're not changing the parking layout, the parking will stay the same, We are going to, after years of trying to get the redevelopment going, and tying our property managers hands and saying we're going to be knocking down 50 percent to 65 percent of the building, let's just keep things going. We do have an active shopping center but now we're going forward with making the improvements. It's unfortunate, but we're here to turn it back into a vibrant piece of the community."

McCormack said the building will be getting some its roof repaired and painted along with other improvements.

"The Price Chopper has been freshly painted and we're freshening up the exterior facade," McCormack said. "We'll continue to make improvements to the exterior."

Work inside the building will begin soon.

"It's going to be a build cycle through the fall and through the winter," he said.

The sign application will have to be approved through the Development Review Board.

Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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