Seaside Heights Welcomes Home Depot Satellite Store [AUDIO]
The bright orange and white of a Home Depot sign might seem common place to many residents of the Garden State, but it's a new sight for Seaside Heights, as the big box retailer opens a satellite store aimed at helping contractors and residents repair after Sandy.
Though the store has been open for some time, a formal ceremony was held Monday, which featured Home Depot CEO Frank Blake, Seaside Mayor Bill Akers, Congressman Jon Runyan, and Governor Chris Christie.
The Pro & Design Center is significantly smaller than Home Depot's traditional warehouse-sized stores. The current location sits inside the White Pearl Hotel on Sumner Avenue, occupying the space once filled by a Mexican restaurant as well as space in hotel's fourth floor.
The giant home improvement chain's presence on the island is a first for a borough partially famous for its "mom and pop" stores. Mayor Akers welcomes the store's arrival, noting in an era of concern over redevelopment within the community and rateables, they need to expand their economies to serve residents.
"You have to change with the times. Think of it like investing, while we're happy to have businesses like Seaside Lumber over here, I think there's room in this community for another operation like the Home Depot."
Akers said the borough's "lost some of its luster when we lost our Main Street."
He feels having the store will be of overall benefit.
"Think of it like investing, the guy that buys the single stock is dead, you diversify. Seaside Heights is at that crossroads where we need to diversify."
Home Depot CEO Frank Blake says the satellite store is unlike anything else the company has. While there are no plans for it to be a permanent fixture he is open to keeping the store running indefinitely.