Heard on the Street: Ex-ShopKo to house Haley Comfort Systems, restaurant and more
A local business owner is buying an empty "Big Box" store in Rochester to bring all of his operations under one roof, plus carve out space for a new northeast restaurant.
Tom Haley, co-owner of Haley Comfort Systems , was closing on a deal this week to buy the former Shopko North complex at 3708 US 63 North. The 90,000-square-foot building, near the CMX Chateaumovie theater, has sat empty since the store closed in June.
"We're excited to bring all of our people together," said Haley as he stood in the cavernous space among empty ShopKo shelves on Thursday. He co-owns Haley Comfort Systems with Joe Haley.
That means bringing all of his 75 to 80 employees from the Rochester showroom at 4320 W. Frontage Road U.S. 52 and Haley's facility in Plainview to the new headquarters.
"We've just outgrown all of our space," He says.
The plan is to create a new showroom – double the size of the current Rochester one – to display Haley's wide variety of products, including fireplaces and lighting systems, as well as providing a base for the teams of heating, cooling, tile, stonework, custom woodwork and plumbing technicians.
Rochester has several empty commercial buildings . Why did he choose the north ShopKo space?
"We really like the location. It's good for our 25 employees that live in Plainview," said Haley. "I think it is an up and coming area with a lot of growth on the way," said Haley.
The business was founded in Plainview in 1990.
A very "aggressive" renovation timeline would put his team in the building sometime in the fall, he estimated.
His businesses won't be the only ones operating there, if everything goes according to plan.
"I have a verbal commitment from a restaurant" for a 7,000-square-foot space with a large patio on the west side of the building, he said.
With the Haley operations in the middle, the plan also calls for carving out a 3,500-square-foot space on the east side of the center. Haley is also looking for a commercial tenant, possibly a retailer, for that spot.