New retail, services businesses coming to former Newberry building: Spruce and Hemlock, Stacked Graphics now under one roof
by Dan McClelland
The village and town planning board on January 23 took a preliminary look at plans for a major commercial block here at 115 Park Street.
The preliminary review came on the heels of a public hearing and conditional approval of a second major commercial development just down the street at 83 Park in the former Ginsberg's Department store building.
The commercial premises at 115 Park was the popular and spacious J.J. Newberry Store, which provided household wares for generations here from the 1940s through the 1970s. In recent years it was owned Joy and Vinnie Moody and housed several of Mrs. Moody's business ventures. Recently the west side was a gym and fitness center.
The building was recently purchased by the principles of Spruce and Hemlock (Faith and Andrew McClelland) and Stacked Graphics (Pat Bedore and Andrew McClelland) in a new limited liability corporation called Chum House LLC.
Mr. McClelland, representing his partners that evening, gave the planning regulators some of the details of their new commercial venture.
The western side of the building will be the new and expanded home of Spruce and Hemlock, Tupper Lake popular Adirondack-style souvenir and collectible store which has operated very successfully for the past two years at 52 Lake Street. The operation will continue to be seasonal from April to December each year.
Mr. and Mrs. McClelland are renovating the interior of the former Aseel family home at 52 Lake Street property and are now living there.
The east side of the building will be the new location of Stacked Graphics, which for the last ten years has operated at the Tupper Lake Free Press building. The silk screen printing, embroidery and sign company started by the two partners has many institutional, educational and commercial clients all across the region.
Both sides of the 100 year old building which saw a major facade upgrade about five years ago have seen considerable redecorating in recent months by the owners.
The owners will be creating 2,700 square feet of retail space at the relocated Spruce and Hemlock, a mini-cafe of sorts in the rear of the building, 6,000 square feet of production and service area on the Stacked Graphics' side (2,000 square feet on the ground level and 4,000 square feet in the very spacious basement.
There will eventually be 2,400 square feet of residential space on the second floor. An existing 1,200 square foot apartment will eventually be complemented by a second one of similar size, with six large windows looking down on the uptown business district.
Mr. McClelland said Spruce and Hemlock will occupy all of the west side of the building when the store reopens in April. “My wife Faith would eventually like to use the rear space for a small deli or bakery with perhaps a counter to serve food within the store.” He predicted a 2020 or 2021 opening for that side venture.
The young businessman said there are some “roof issues” in the rear of the building which need to be addressed in early spring.
He said the former Joy Photography side of the building will be the new home of Stacked Graphics.
While most of that half will be for production, he said he and Pat may eventually develop a small retail area in the front.
“We don't really need to be on Park Street and the only reason we are in that building with Faith is because it works financially.”
Planning board member Jim Merrihew, who was chairing the meeting in the absence of Shawn Stuart, asked him if production would start in the basement when the relocation is complete.
Andrew said most of their production will occur on the main floor, with the sign creation portion of their business relegated to the basement, which he described as very spacious.
A portion of it too will be for storage for Spruce and Hemlock inventory.
“You will have a storefront for your tee-shirts and signs in the front?” Scott Snyder asked him.
Mr. McClelland said the front area will be more of an office area for the business, rather than retail.
“We will create products for Faith who will sell them in her store. We're more of a manufacturer.”
He told Mr. Snyder, however, they are going “to feel their way” in this new location and may eventually have a small retail operation on their side of the building.
He said it may actually be something of a nuisance if tourists came into their side of the building and would be an interruption to their production. People will always be directed to Spruce and Hemlock next door.
“We wholesale for Faith in addition to the graphic arts services we provide our clients. You just can't come into Stacked Graphics and order one tee-shirt or one ball cap.”
Prompted by a question from Mr. Merrihew, he said the store windows in front of their half would be used to market Spruce and Hemlock products next door.
He said a new wall behind the back of the store windows would screen from view their production operation. “We don't want tourists seeing our mess,” he joked.
Asked about the second floor by Mr. Snyder, he said the rear apartment is very modern and currently occupied. The large front apartment is currently gutted of interior walls, awaiting a complete overhaul.
“We'll be applying to the new Main Street grant program to fund that apartment's rejuvenation.”
Jim Merrihew asked about the space for parking in the alley that runs behind all the Park Street businesses on the north side of the block.
“There is enough room for one parking space adjacent to the existing apartment. You could perhaps fit two small cars!” Andrew told the planners.
He said Rick Donah apparently owns the east end of the alley up to “our building.” After that the ownership of the alley for another 100 feet or so is something of a mystery, he added.
A public hearing on their plan is scheduled for the planning board's February 27 meeting.
The partners were asked to furnish the planners with “visuals” of the exterior of the building, including any new signs and lights. “That's very helpful to us,” Mr. Merrihew told him.
Mr. McClelland told the planners they would furnish exterior drawings of their new business.