PLATTSBURGH — Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel has received approval for a new store in the Town of Plattsburgh.
The Town Planning Board gave unanimous conditional approval to plans for a 15,000-square-foot store to be built in the Eaglefeather subdivision on Tom Miller Road, adjacent to Mountain View Pediatrics and Champlain Spine and Pain Management.
The new store will be the fourth Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel location. Todd and Mark McCarthy own stores in St. Albans, Williston and Barre in Vermont, as well as a separate outlet store in Barre.
Todd McCarthy, who was at the Planning Board meeting this week, said they considered expansion in the Rutland area, but there are already a number of stores with a similar business model in that area. They see Plattsburgh as a natural market for their expansion.
“I feel there’s a need for the products we offer,” he said.
The store could have up to 10 full-time employees, including a manager and two assistant managers, and up to five part-time employees.
They started discussing the plan in the fall of 2010.
McCarthy said they were attracted to the area by the strong traffic along the Route 3 commercial corridor.
“If we were going to expand, Plattsburgh is the place,” he said.
Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel offers shoes, boots, outerwear, clothing and work clothes from top brands such as Carhartt, Columbia, Merrell, New Balance, The North Face, Red wing, Timberland, Wolverine, Woolrich, Under Armour and many more.
McCarthy said they’ve always tried to offer family-oriented footwear and clothing.
He said Carhartt donated a tractor-trailer load of items that Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel was able to distribute to victims of the remnants of Tropical Storm Irene at 10 locations in Vermont last year.
They do an annual jeans swap, he said. Many items are in good enough shape that they can be donated to charities, such as the Salvation Army, after that event, McCarthy said.
SPRING TARGET DATE
McCarthy said they plan to open the Plattsburgh store sometime next spring. He would have liked to open this year, but the stores get too busy in the fourth quarter to make that feasible, he said.
“I really wish we could make it happen this fall. The time frame won’t work.”
They are considering opening a smaller space in the interim, if they can find the right location, he said.
Plans for the L-shaped building show two large cupolas on the roof, which would allow natural light to flood through the interior during the day. The building will have an Adirondack look, with a lower layer of stone siding on the exterior and some type of siding above.
McCarthy said that while they did recently renovate their Vermont locations to give them a similar look, this is their first opportunity to build their own store. The brothers both like the Adirondack style of architecture, he said, and it fits in well with neighboring structures.
The store has enough space to accommodate a possible future New Balance franchise, similar to the one the McCarthys have in Maple Tree Place in Williston. It carries New Balance, Dunham and Aravon.
There is a certified podorothist at that location. She can customize foot wear to make conditions such as bunions and hammertoe more comfortable, McCarthy said.
One of the conditions for approval is to obtain a State Department of Environmental Conservation permit that would allow a stormwater-detention pond to encroach on a wetland buffer zone on the west side of the property. The McCarthys have already applied for that.
Todd McCarthy said they are in the process of obtaining the property from its present owners, Rebecca King and Erik Eaglefeather.
BEGAN IN 1980S
Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel was started by their parents, Lenny and Molly McCarthy, in 1990 after Lenny got laid off during the recession of the late 1980s.
“He and my mother have been semi-retired for several years now. It’s still his name on the door,” McCarthy said.
Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett said he was pleased Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel chose a Plattsburgh location.
With their long list of well-known brand-name merchandise, the store will be one more reason for shoppers to visit the town, Bassett said.
“I’m very excited to welcome them to the Town of Plattsburgh,” he said.
The store will be the latest in a string of new construction along the Tom Miller Road corridor.
“It’s nice to see more growth in that area,” he said.
For more information, visit lennyshoe.com.
Email Dan Heath