LITTLE CURRENT—Bulldozers and a steam shovel (yes, they are still called that) clear the site where the long-anticipated new 20,000 square-foot RONA Little Current Building Centre edifice will rise, just south of Little Current on Highway 6.
The new location has been in the works for quite some time, noted RONA store manager Aaron Farquhar. “It has taken a while to get to this stage,” he said. “We are very pleased to be getting underway.”
The 5,000 square-foot RONA Little Current Building Centre store, affectionately known for decades by locals as simply “Tim’s,” is no longer large enough to house the variety and volume of product to adequately meet the demands of its customers, admitted Mr. Farquhar in explaining why the move to a larger operation. “We simply didn’t have the room for enough stock to meet demand.” Customers seeking un-stocked items will no longer feel the temptation to drive to Espanola to make their purchases, he noted. They will be able to find what they are looking for right there on the shelves.
In addition to the expanded indoor facilities, the new RONA site will boast a much larger outdoor yard.
Locating the expanded operation in Little Current was one of the easier decisions, said the manager. “We have been around for a long time,” he said, noting the deep roots the operation has in the community.
Although the old Tim’s building may be an affectionate memory for many DIY weekend warriors intent on the honey-do list and local contractors, the new building will offer customers a bright, spacious consumer experience. “It will be nice for the customers,” noted Mr. Farquhar. “This building is too old, the new one will be much bigger and better.”
The Vankoughnet location of the old building remains prime real estate, however, but the decision on its fate remains up in the air. “We have a couple of ideas, but nothing too certain at this point,” he said. “We would like to see some sort of retail operation.” While RONA itself may have outgrown the facility and the site, there remains a tremendous potential in the current location.
The expanded facility will be good news for local employment as well. “This will create some extra jobs, for sure,” said Mr. Farquhar.
The general contractors for the new facility are Sheppard Custom Building of Mindemoya. Actual construction of the new building can begin once the site plan has been submitted to and approved by the North East Town.