The building next to Walmart is soon expected to be filled by a furniture and pet store, which should be starting to open by Memorial Day.
The tenants, identified at Thursday night’s Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, “at this point are Bob’s Furniture store and a chain called Pet Valu,” said attorney Linda Margolin, who was representing the property owner of the Walmart site at a hearing seeking a sign variance for the property.
Bob’s Discount Furniture has 52 locations in 11 states in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, including four stores in Nassau and Suffolk counties, the nearest being in Nesconset.
The company is headquartered in Manchester, Conn. and was founded in 1991. In addition to furniture, the stores also feature a “complimentary cafe with gourmet coffee, ice cream, fresh baked cookies and candy,” according to the company web site.
Pet Valu is a Canadian-based pet food and supply chain that has more than 500 locations in Canada and the northeast United States, with the nearest one being in Hauppauge.
Jeffrey Locklear, building supervisor with Kane Builders, said on site Friday that he expected work to be done by Memorial Day weekend. He said Bob’s would like to be open by Memorial Day, with Pet Valu opening up soon after.
The ZBA on Thursday approved the sign variance, in which the owners of the Walmart shopping center — which is being called Garteway Plaza — sought permission for a second directory sign which would be located on the Applebee’s property just east of Gateway Plaza. It would be identical to the one at the west end of the property.
Both the Walmart site and the Applebee’s site have affiliated ownership, and they are asking that the second directory sign be on the Applebee’s property by the eastern entrance to the shopping center, aligned with Kroemer Avenue, because the electronics for the traffic control lights are buried on the northwest corner of this intersection, which is on the Gateway Plaza land, according to Ms. Margolin.
The 27,000 square foot shopping center on the eastern portion of Gateway Plaza is under construction and doesn’t have any tenants now.
Town officials say they haven’t yet received any applications for Bob’s Discount Furniture or Pet Valu.
In addition to the Gateway Plaza and Applebee’s, the site plan approval for Applebee’s from more than 14 years ago also allows the developers to build another retail store on a vacant 7,200 square pad in the eastern portion of the Applebee’s parking lot.