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Furniture store planned for former Portage Staples location
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Furniture store planned for former Portage Staples location

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In about three months, the empty former Staples store in Northridge Plaza is expected to be occupied with a furniture store, with merchandise filling about 23,000 square feet of space and a storage area occupying another 15,000 square feet.

After more than four years of vacancy, a Portage building that used to house a big-box office supply store soon will be the location of a furniture retailer.

Developer Richard Lynn said he will rent the former Staples store at 2830 New Pinery Road to a Rockford, Illinois, business that plans to turn the entire property into what Lynn described as an “outlet” furniture store, offering a variety of household furnishings.

The tenant has signed the lease, Lynn said, and plans for the store to be open by May.

However, he declined to name the tenant, partly because, he said, the tenant has not yet decided what to call the store.

Staples closed its doors in December 2014, and the space has been unoccupied since then.

Staples had been the anchor of Northridge Plaza, a strip mall owned by Lynn.

Other businesses located in the strip mall include Dollar Tree, Check ‘n’ Go, Game Stop, General Nutrition Center, Theresa’s, Verlo Mattress Anytime Fitness, Asian Express, Princess Nails, Guaranteed Rate and Fastenal.

Portage Director of Business Development and Planning Steve Sobiek said planned use aligns with the city’s zoning for the building. Because he is not aware of any plans to change the building’s footprint, Sobiek said a site plan would not need approval from the city’s Plan Commission.

Lynn said the building is an ideal location for a furniture store because it is spacious and has a loading dock at the rear.

The retail space encompasses 23,000 square feet with an additional 15,000 square feet of warehouse space, Lynn said. The tenant plans to use all that space, he said.

To prepare for the new store, all that needs to happen is some interior work. Sobiek said no one has yet obtained city permits for work on the structure’s interior.

Whenever a large retailer locates in Portage, it can create a “magnet” effect that can boost business development not only in the immediate vicinity, but throughout the area where the new business is located, Sobiek said.

“It will bring in more traffic throughout the area, making Portage’s north side locations more attractive and valuable,” he said.

Follow Lyn Jerde on Twitter @LynJerde or contact her at 608-745-3587.

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