Fort Orange General Store Returns to Albany At 412 Broadway
April 12, 2017
A popular authentic and eclectic soft-goods retail business that closed its doors in early June 2016 will be staying in Albany and reopening this spring with a new location and owner. The Fort Orange General Store was recently purchased by Schuyler Bull and the new owner is in the process of relocating the business to downtown Albany. Its new home will be the 2,000 sq. ft., first-floor retail space of the Argus Building at 412 Broadway, across from the SUNY Administration building. The Argus Building 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.
“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 bring some of that back through the Fort Orange General Store.”
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 will join Stacks Espresso Bar—which received support from the Downtown Albany Retail Grant Program—as one of downtown Albany’s newest retailers, just a few minutes’ walk from each other along Broadway. The Impact Downtown Albany strategic plan’s retail market analysis’ recommendations for downtown Albany had identified both a third-place coffeehouse and a soft-goods retailer as two priority types of retail with the greatest potential to capture market demand and reinforce current retail businesses. With support from the Grant Program, the vision for Downtown retail is becoming a reality. 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.
The business will continue selling many locally made products, handmade soaps and lotions, candles, jewelry, stationery, and kitchen and bar-ware, 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.
With more than 300 new Downtown apartment units to come online in recent years, the City’s newest neighborhood’s residential population growth, 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 owner’s decision to move the store to the Argus Building.
Bull hopes for a soft opening the week of Tulip Festival, which takes place May 12-14. For more information and updates on the construction progress, visit www.fortorangegeneralstore.com, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.