Harbor Freight Opening New Location in Bennington

Harbor Freight Opening New Location in Bennington

Harbor Freight Tools, a leading retailer known for offering quality tools at unbeatable prices, is set to open a new store in Bennington. The new location will be situated at 99 Bennington Square and is anticipated to open this summer. The exact opening date will be announced as the date approaches.

Construction for the new store is already underway, employing local workers and companies from the Bennington area. “We’ve been looking to open a location in Bennington for a number of years so that we can provide the tools and equipment at tremendous values to the community,” said Trey Feiler, Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Construction for Harbor Freight Tools. “In addition to finding a great location, we were attracted by the availability of great Associates in the Bennington area, and we look forward to having them join the Harbor Freight team.”

The new store is expected to create between 25 and 30 jobs in the community. Positions will include Sales and Logistic Supervisors, Senior Associates, Sales Associates, and seasonal opportunities. Harbor Freight Tools offers a competitive starting rate and a comprehensive retail benefits package that includes robust health coverage and holidays off for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The company provides stability and opportunities for advancement, with over 28,000 Associates and more than 1,500 locations nationwide. Interested applicants can apply online at www.harborfreightjobs.com/retail by searching for “Bennington, VT.”

The owners of the Bennington Square shopping center have filed an Act 250 permit to subdivide the former Kmart store into space for three retail businesses, including a Marshalls department store and a Harbor Freight Tools outlet. Ocean State Job Lot, the center’s owners, previously received a town building permit to conduct an estimated $220,000 in renovations to the 55,552-square-foot former Kmart building. They filed for an Act 250 permit on December 20.

Site plans show three rectangular spaces with customer entrances facing the parking area. No potential store entity is provided for the third commercial space. Kmart closed its Bennington store in 2018 after operating at the location since 1979. A spokesman for Ocean State indicated that an announcement regarding the project timeline would be forthcoming.

The application was filed by OSJ of Bennington VT, LLC, an entity associated with Ocean State. Quin Mann, district coordinator with the Vermont Natural Resources Board, stated in an email that the Act 250 application is currently incomplete. Therefore, the commission has not yet determined whether the project will be processed as a major application (with a hearing) or a minor application (no hearing).

The renovation work described in the application involves subdividing one vacant retail storefront into three. Internal and external renovations of the storefront, as well as exterior work, are proposed. Internal renovations include lighting, fire sprinklers, and interior division of the space. External renovations include connecting the new storefronts to existing water and sewer lines, installing and connecting three new propane tanks, maintaining the parking lot to achieve ADA compliance, and constructing two new loading docks.

The shopping center owners received a local building permit last year that specified fit-up work for a Harbor Freight Tools store. At the time, it was expected that renovation work on the former Kmart building would start in August 2023 and be completed in the fall. Additionally, Marshalls received a town sign permit last year for a store in the center.

Ocean State purchased the 24-acre, 150,000-square-foot shopping center off Kocher Drive in 2020 and currently operates an Ocean State Job Lot store in a 38,970-square-foot former JC Penney’s location there.

Harbor Freight Tools, known for its extensive range of tools and equipment, including automotive, air, and power tools, storage solutions, outdoor power equipment, generators, welding supplies, shop equipment, and hand tools, currently has stores in Albany, Schenectady, Amsterdam, Catskill, Clifton Park, Queensbury, and Troy, with an upcoming store in Wilton.

According to a press release, the Harbor Freight store in Bennington is expected to open this summer, with an official opening date to be announced later. The new store will offer the community access to a wide variety of quality tools at the lowest prices, making it a valuable addition to the local retail landscape.

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