Lowe’s Companies Inc., the home improvement big box store giant, announced this week that it is abandoning plans to open a new location in Huntington two weeks after releasing plans to close 20 of its 1,725 stores in the US.
A Lowes spokeswoman confirmed the North Carolina-based company, which purchased the old Huntington Townhouse on Jericho Turnpike in 2007 and later demolished it, has decided against completing construction of a store there. Town of Huntington officials have been working out what to do next.
“Our immediate concern right now,” said Huntington spokesman A.J. Carter, “is to make sure that the construction site is made safe and secure, in terms of issues of possible erosion, drainage issues and some security questions.”
The Lowe’s spokeswoman said the company completed the environmental cleanup, installed retaining walls, and completed some grading work but construction on the actual building had not begun.
The construction firm working on the project expressed shock and disappointment in the decision, which came down last week.
“You never like to stop a project and it was surprising but we hope to do business in the future with Lowe’s we enjoyed working with them,” said Carmine Martuscello, director of marketing for Raccanelli Construction.
Lowe’s also has plans in the works for two new locations in Riverhead and Commack. The spokeswoman for the company said the Riverhead location is expected to open as planned next year but has made no formal announcement regarding plans for the planned Commack location.
The company has seven locations on Long Island, including stores in Garden City, Hicksville, Medford, Patchogue, Farmingdale, Stony Brook and Bay Shore.
In addition to the closing 20 stores in 15 states, Lowe’s said it plans to open 10 to 15 stores annually moving forward, down from prior projections of 30 stores per year.
“Closing stores is never easy, given the impact on hard-working employees and local communities,” said Robert Niblock, chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. “However, we have an obligation to make tough decisions when necessary to improve profitability and strengthen our financial position.