Dick’s Sporting Goods will open next weekend, somewhat earlier than previously projected, a Southside Mall official said Monday.
Luisa Montanti, general manager at the mall, said the opening date had been slated for Oct. 15, but sunshine and good weather during the summer helped construction work move ahead. The pending opening is exciting, she said.
“I’m very happy that the whole project has gone very well,’’ she said.
The local store will be open Oct. 5 to 7 for grand-opening activities and events, including an appearance by former professional basketball player John Starks of the New York Knicks, according to the Dick’s Sporting Goods website. Starks will appear between noon and 2 p.m. Oct. 7, though customers must pick up a wristband that morning to receive an autograph, the site said.
A request for comment from Dick’s was placed with Catalyst Public Relations in New York City at about 3 p.m. Monday. But no Dick’s official returned by call by 6 p.m.
Construction of a 37,000-square-foot addition at Southside Mall began in spring. The store is located at the west end of the mall and has a separate entrance with no access from the mall.
Montanti said previously that the addition of Dick’s will give shoppers a better-balanced selection of retailers and be an incentive for consumers to shop locally.
Southside Mall on state Route 23 in the town of Oneonta is a mix of locally owned businesses and national retailers, including JCPenney, OfficeMax, Bed Bath & Beyond and Applebee’s restaurant. The mall has about 35 stores.
Consumers of sporting goods who would have gone to Binghamton or Oneonta will be able to shop locally, said town Supervisor Robert Wood, which is good news for the area.
“It’s great that we’ve attracted another national retailer to Oneonta,’’ Wood said Monday. “It shows that Oneonta continues to grow and be a market that these retailers are interested in coming to.’’
Dick’s also will provide welcome jobs and tax revenue, Wood said. Sales taxes, which go to Otsego County, could increase revenues for a “larger pie” to be divided among localities, he said, and an assessment of the building addition that Dick’s occupies will mean added property tax revenue to the town from Southside Mall.
“The Otsego County Chamber welcomes Dick’s Sporting Good into our business community, adding another shopping amenity for our sporting and outdoor enthusiasts,” Chamber Executive Director Barbara Ann Heegan said in an emailed statement Monday night.