Harbor Freight sets the opening date for the Bethlehem store, one of the many new tenants coming to the redeveloped Westgate shopping center – The Morning Call

A popular retail chain is preparing to open its latest Lehi Valley location on part of the former Weiss market space in Bethlehem’s Westgate Shopping Center (formerly known as Westgate Mall).

According to Harbor Freight director Craig Hoffman, the California-based chain will carry a variety of home, garden and car tools, hardware and other items at Harbor Freight Tools on Wednesday at the new Bethlehem store. We will hold a soft open. Corporate communication and content. The store’s grand opening will take place on July 16th at 8am.

“We always have what was called a soft opening before [the grand opening] —Wednesday, June 29, in this case — when the store opens, we will give employees time to get used to the store and help their customers most effectively, ”Hoffman said. increase.

Founded in 1977 by Eric Schmidt and his father, Harbor Freight has more than 1,300 stores nationwide, including four regions: South Whitehall Township, Richland Township, Wilson and Stroudsburg.

Residents of the Bethlehem area currently need to travel about 8 miles to the Easton Area Store, 10 miles to the Allentown Area Store and 12 miles to the Quakertown area, so the company is considering opening a location in Bethlehem for some time. Hoffman said it was. shop.

Harbor Freight waited until it found a place to meet its needs and customer needs. “Good visibility, easy access, ample parking, and proper square feet,” Hoffman added.

“We are excited about this new location, which is far more convenient for customers in the Bethlehem community,” Hoffman said.

According to Hoffman, customers have “high quality tools and accessories … lowest prices” in categories such as automobiles, air and power tools, storage, outdoor power tools, generators, welding supplies, store equipment, hand tools and more. You can select “with”.

“This particular location on Westgate Mall (2305 Schoenersville Road) is 15,580 square feet, smaller than the so-called” big box “stores in this category, and we feel we have a competitive advantage,” Hoffman said. I am saying. “Many of our customers are professional trade workers who want to stop by, find what they need and go to the field or workshop right away. For other customers, using this size, You can easily browse and find deals. “

Bringing 25-30 new jobs to the community, the new Harbor Freight Store occupies approximately 16,000 square feet of space being redeveloped with a new façade.

An additional 16,000 square feet of previous Weis space will continue to be available, according to Matt Flath, Vice President of Asset Management at Onyx Equities, a New Jersey-based, Westgate-owned and managed real estate investment and services company.

The arrival of Harbor Freight at Westgate is more welcome news for the Schoenersville Road shopping center, which opened in dozens of retail stores in 1973, but has been plagued by some vacancies in recent years.

Positive progress was made in May 2021 when Weis moved from the 32,000-square-foot long-standing space in the center of the complex to a newly refurbished 63,000-square-foot store. Previously, it was home to the Bonton Department Store at the northern end of the complex.

Westgate’s revitalization will follow the recent announcement that three quick-service restaurant chains, banks and retailers will occupy the new building after much of the interior of the Bethlehem shopping center has been destroyed.

The third phase of the Onyx Equities redevelopment plan, approved by the Bethlehem Planning Commission on March 10, includes the dismantling of approximately 50,000 square feet inside the current shopping center and approximately 8,000 square feet of new building space. Will be able to build.

The two new structures include a self-contained bank with a drive-through next to the relocated Weis Markets grocery store and an adjacent strip mall that houses Jersey Mike’s Sub, QDOBA Mexican Suites, and Starbucks eateries. .. The latter has a drive. -Through. There are also retail stores in the strip mall that have not yet been announced.

Ryan Whitmore, a professional engineer at Landcore Engineering Consultants, will redevelop part of the infill section of the mall on March 10th to open the site and connect the front and back of the center. meeting.

You can also create a parking space for 55 cars.

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“With GLA reductions, total leasable area, and the construction of new parking lots, the parking lot ratio will actually be in the black,” Whitmore added.

City traffic inspector Tiffany Welles has expressed concern about possible traffic backups from Starbucks drive-throughs, and committee members, including Chairman Robert Meloski, have at least 12 parking spaces. Helps prevent congestion, suggesting the possibility of removing and modifying traffic patterns.

However, Flath said quick-service restaurants have much higher sales for customers who prefer to pick up food, and parking lots are “sensitive in the area.”

“If you reduce 12 spaces, you’re probably talking about catastrophic savings in front of all those restaurants,” Flath said.

Other upcoming changes at Westgate include the lease of 10,000 square feet of space at the southern end of the shopping center that previously housed Rite Aid to Oak Street Health’s primary care healthcare facility. (The provisional opening date has not been announced). An international quick service hamburger chain that has signed a lease to build a self-contained 4,500-square-foot retail pad in the north corner of the center in front of Wyeth. A financial institution that signed a lease to develop a 3,500-square-foot independent building on a former Dempsey restaurant pad.

The latter two projects are awaiting approval of the site plan by the city, and Onyx hopes to begin developing them near the end of the year, Flath said.

Built on the roads of Schoenersville and Catasaqua in 1973, Westgate is Westgate Jeweler, Holiday Hair, Subway, Hawk Music, Amateur Athletes, Westgate Pizza, Grand China Buffet & Grill, Johnny’s Bagle & Deli, GNC, Sky Zone. Trampoline Park, Fine Wine & Good Spirits, Tantastic, Hair Perspective, Country Rose Florist, Barber Shop, Panda Cleaner, New Sound Hearing Center.

Harbor Freight sets the opening date for the Bethlehem store, one of the many new tenants coming to the redeveloped Westgate shopping center – The Morning Call

Source link Harbor Freight sets the opening date for the Bethlehem store, one of the many new tenants coming to the redeveloped Westgate shopping center – The Morning Call

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