Albany, NY – A popular retail business that closed its doors in early June 2016 will be reopening this spring with a new location and owner. The Fort Orange General Store was recently purchased by Schuyler Bull, who is in the process of relocating the business to downtown Albany.
The new home of the Fort Orange General Store will be the 2,000 SF, first-floor retail space of the Argus Building at 412 Broadway, across from the SUNY Administration building. The property was completely renovated in 2014 to include 40 apartments on the upper floors and retail space on the ground level. This location is just a short distance from the site of the original Fort Orange that was built by the Dutch West India Company in 1624.
"It’s great to have the Fort Orange General Store reopened in one of downtown Albany’s iconic buildings," said Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan. "This investment and expansion marks a major step forward for the Capital City's newest neighborhood. I applaud Schuyler for his vision and work on this fantastic project.”
The business will continue selling many locally made products, handmade soaps and lotions, candles, jewelry, stationery, and kitchen and barware, while offering an even larger selection of home décor, accessories, men’s specialty products, and Albany-area themed objects. A series of regular events and workshops are planned for the future space, as well.
“In moving to a larger space, we have the opportunity to host a variety of events that will connect our customers and makers, serve the local community, and also tell the incredible history of our city,” states Mr. Bull. “Downtown had been the retail epicenter of Albany through the mid-1900s and it’s my hope to revive that shopping experience through the Fort Orange General Store.”
The growth in residential population in Downtown, as well as the influx in visitors from the opening of the Albany Capital Center and additional investments being made at the Times Union Center arena, played a large part in the decision to move the store to the Argus Building.
“The Fort Orange General Store is an exciting addition, serving as a destination in Albany’s newest neighborhood and providing high quality goods that today’s Downtown residents and convention goers desire,” states Georgette Steffens, executive director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District. “Investment like this is a proven economic driver, and Schuyler is in great company as he joins a District of world-class dining, arts, entertainment, and shopping.”
Construction on the new space is currently underway and being funded, in part, by the Downtown Albany Retail Grant Program—made possible by the City of Albany Capital Resource Corporation and Capitalize Albany Corporation. The Program, created in 2016 to support business attraction and retention in downtown Albany, can assist with a location’s renovation, fit-up costs, and exterior improvements.
“The Fort Orange General Store is a catalytic amenity, and will fill a major strategic need in Downtown,” states Sarah Reginelli, president of Capitalize Albany Corporation. “An authentic, eclectic soft-goods retailer like Fort Orange will serve the expanding Downtown community and complement the more than $200 million in new investments to come online since implementation of the Impact Downtown Albany strategy began.”
For more information and updates on the construction progress, visit www.fortorangegeneralstore.com, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.