BANGOR, Maine — The ongoing shuffle of major big-box retailers in Bangor continued this week with the official opening of a Lowe’s on Springer Drive.
A grand opening ceremony for the 117,000-square-foot store, with a 35,000-square-foot garden center, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at the location near the Bangor Mall that previously was occupied by a Walmart.
Walmart opened a new supercenter on Stillwater Avenue in the summer of 2009 that rendered the older, smaller store obsolete.
Katie Cody, a spokeswoman for Lowe’s corporate offices in Mooresville, N.C., said Tuesday the Bangor store is the 13th to open in Maine.
Other Lowe’s locations locally include Brewer, which opened on outer Wilson Street in April 2008, and Ellsworth, which opened off Route 3 in January 2008. The nation’s second-largest home retailer, Lowe’s has more than 1,700 stores nationwide.
Cody said that despite the presence of two other stores close by, research has shown the market is strong enough to support a location in Bangor.
“Every potential store is well researched. We’ve done this many times before,” she said in a telephone interview. “Having competition around helps everyone.”
Cody also said that because the real estate market is still lagging, many homeowners are staying in their homes longer and making minor improvements, which likely means more business for retailers such as Lowe’s.
The new Lowe’s is expected to bring 175 full- and part-time jobs, most of which already have been filled, according to store manager Todd Monica.
The store actually opened unofficially on Monday, Cody said, but the official date is Thursday. The store has events and promotional activities planned for Wednesday evening and throughout the rest of this week, Monica said Tuesday.
When Lowe’s purchased the former Walmart property in the fall of 2009, the existing building was still there. Rather than use that building, Lowe’s tore the structure down and built new at a cost of approximately $18.5 million.
The area of Springer Drive and Longview Drive, which connect Hogan Road to Stillwater Avenue, has changed considerably in recent years.
Not long ago, a Walmart, a Home Depot and a Home Quarters were within a few hundred feet of each other.
Now, Walmart and Home Depot have moved into newer and bigger locations off Stillwater Avenue and Home Quarters has gone out of business.
Lowe’s took over the Walmart spot, the former Home Quarters is now home to Burlington Coat Factory and the former Home Depot remains vacant.
Target moved into that area in 2004 and plans are under way for a Christmas Tree Shops store to locate in a space on Springer Drive previously occupied by Shaw’s supermarket.
For more information on store hours, visit www.lowes.com or call the Bangor store at 299-9089.