LOCKPORT – Rue 21, a national clothing chain aimed at young people, will open a store in the Town of Lockport in about 90 days, town officials said Thursday.
“We’re very excited to offer Rue 21,” Supervisor Marc R. Smith said.
The store is to open in the Tops Plaza on South Transit Road, the same plaza in which a former Sears Hardware store is being renovated into a TJ Maxx store that is expected to open in August.
Chief Building Inspector Brian M. Belson said he received a call this week from Rue 21, telling him to expect interior design plans for the 3,000-square-foot space soon. He said the Planning Board won’t have to vote on Rue 21, since the exterior look of the building isn’t being altered.
Rue 21 has 1,003 stores in 47 states, according to its website. Locally, it boasts locations in the Fashion Outlets mall in the Town of Niagara, and in the Shoppes at Hamburg.
A Rue 21 spokesman did not return a call for comment. Neither did a spokesman for DDR Corp., owner of the plaza.
Smith said he has been talking with DDR regarding a new tenant for the Walmart store next to Tops, which is to close when the new Walmart Supercenter, now under construction on the former Lockport Mall site, is ready to open.
“We’re pretty sure we have half of it filled,” Smith said, although no lease has been signed.
Deed restrictions, put in place to protect Tops, bar any store on the Walmart site from devoting more than 3 to 5 percent of its space to selling food, Smith said. That’s why Walmart couldn’t have simply expanded its existing store into a supercenter, the supervisor said.
Smith said the supercenter it is expected to open in October. An email issued Wednesday by the town’s Economic Development Department said the project would be done in August, but Smith said that referred only to the construction, not the interior completion of the retail setup.
Smith said Walmart gave its contractor an Aug. 15 deadline to finish the building.
According to the town email, other new stores on the South Transit Road commercial strip include Steak Stone & Sushi, a restaurant to be located next to Save-a-Lot in the Office Max Plaza; Aquacates Mexican Restaurant, going into the former Masterpiece Pizza, which was once a Picasso’s Pizza location; White Rabbit Frozen Yogurt, with its seventh local store to be located in the Home Depot Plaza; and Roots to Bloom Hydroponics in the South Transit Plaza.