A major commercial building at the entrance of Lynden’s downtown core finally will have a retail tenant.
Tractor Supply Co., which has nearly 1,400 retail stores in 49 states, has applied for a tenant improvement building permit for the former Cost Cutter building at 1898 Front St. The company reached an agreement with Lynden Market Square to occupy the entire 48,000-square-foot building, said Craig Cole, a principal owner of the site. Cole expects the company to be open for business in that spot later this year.
The retailer offers a variety of products focused on the rural lifestyle, including pet supplies, animal feed, tools, fencing and riding lawnmowers. While it sells a variety of tractor parts, the company does not sell tractors.
Rob Hoskins, a spokesman for Tractor Supply Co., said the company did not have any information to release about a potential Lynden location at this time. He did say the company is attracted to agricultural communities like Lynden, which also has plenty of part-time and hobby farmers.
Cole said the plan is to do a lot of interior work as well as some exterior work to the building. When completed, the work will provide a much better face for the western entry into downtown Lynden, he said..
The building has been without a major retail tenant since the Lynden Cost Cutter closed at the end of 2006. It has been used at various times for storage, but with its large parking lot the area usually looked empty, said Gary Vis, executive director at the Lynden Chamber of Commerce.
Vis noted that the arrival of Tractor Supply Co. would mean increased competition for existing Lynden businesses, but those existing businesses are strong and would be able to adjust.
“I think there is room to grow in this market,” Vis said. “This will be a good fit for Lynden.”
Cole said the landing of an anchor tenant on the seven acres of property will mean opportunities to further develop the site. He said they are looking at a variety of options in the retail and service industries, adding that multi-family residential buildings are also a possibility.
Getting an anchor tenant was the first priority, and the biggest challenge, Cole said. The closure of the Cost Cutter happened at the beginning of the national recession, followed by the global financial meltdown in the fall of 2008. Remodeling a large building in a small community is always a challenge, but it was made even more difficult given the struggles of commercial real estate following the financial meltdown.
Details about the retailer can be found at tractorsupply.com.