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Stores leave as Belk plans expansion

Posted: February 21, 2012 - 2:53pm  |  Updated: March 7, 2012 - 10:08am

 

Martintown Plaza, between Martintown Road and Knox Avenue, is seeing several changes, including the closing of its Goodwill and Just Beds stores and a future expansion of its Belk.

The Goodwill store, which employed 18, closed Saturday after having a storefront in the plaza since 2000, said Susan Everitt, the director of communications for Good­will Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA.

The Lightstone Group, which owns the plaza, notified the nonprofit organization that it was not renewing the store’s lease.

Goodwill’s neighbor, Just Beds Sleep Gallery, received a 30-day notice to vacate from Lightstone, said Lynn Garrick, who co-owns the North Augusta location.

It has moved next to Hamrick’s in the nearby North Augusta Plaza on Martintown Road and reopened over the weekend.

Garrick said Belk, which was on the other side of the business, is planning to expand through the area occupied by Just Beds and into Goodwill’s current space.

Stella Northington, the Belk store manager, would only say the location is expanding. A Lightstone representative would not comment on the plaza.

OneMain Financial’s North Augusta office, which is on the opposite side of Belk, also has to find a new home. The office received notice that it would have to move a couple of months ago, but branch manager Allison Vanecko said she does not know where the business will move.

The 144,000-square-foot plaza’s other tenants include Office Depot, Dollar General and North Augusta Wine & Beverage.

All of the Goodwill store’s employees, except the manager, have been reassigned to other Goodwill locations.

“The store has one store manager, and we are helping her to get work elsewhere since there wasn’t a manager spot open in our district,” Everitt said.

Even though the store has closed, it doesn’t necessarily mean a permanent exit from North Augusta.

“We are currently having a feasibility study so we can figure out how to best serve the North Augusta community, and we are looking for a new location in the North Augusta area,” Everitt said.

The study is expected to take several months.

People in the area can still make donations, though. Lightstone agreed to allow Goodwill to place an attended donation truck in the plaza in the parking lot next to Ruby Tuesday.

An attendant is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and will help people unload their vehicle and provide them with a tax receipt for the donated items.

 

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