Site work began Monday for a new Nice N Easy convenience store at Salmon Run Mall Road and Route 12F.
The 5,808-square-foot store will replace the part of the old Bomax building that was torn down to make room for it.
Pieces of heavy equipment were brought in early Monday to remove the foundation from the front of the building and to start other excavation work.
While the office portion of the Bomax building was demolished, the bulk of the building will remain intact and undergo a makeover.
In the coming weeks, the remaining section will get new siding, a couple of new doors and possibly roof repairs. As agreed upon with the town of Watertown Planning Board, the open end of the structure will be capped off and enclosed, said Alexandria Bay developer P.J. Simao, who owns Toped and Prime development companies.
In two weeks, it will look like a brand-new building, Mr. Simao said Monday.
Mr. Simao said he hopes to finish renovating the building once a potential tenant can be found. He will not start marketing the site until initial repairs have been completed, he said. It could end up as warehouse space, offices or a retail location, depending on the type of tenant found.
Valentine Stores Inc. is building the convenience store, which will feature a 16-dispenser fuel canopy and a drive-through window.
I did not want to leave an eyesore for the Valentines, Mr. Simao said about the improvements to what is left of the Bomax building.
It was not clear when the convenience store would be completed and ready for opening.
Brothers Edward J. and John P. Valentine could not be reached for comment.
In March, the brothers told town officials that they hoped to target mall traffic, Canadian shoppers and Interstate 81 travelers. They will add the store to their collection of about a dozen in the region, including one just a mile down the road at 19853 Route 12F in the town of Hounsfield.
The property, stretching between Interstate 81 and the entry road from Route 12F to Salmon Run Mall, has been considered prime commercial development land.
Bomax, a manufacturer of small motors, closed operations in 2004. The decaying, 50-year-old building has been vacant since then, prompting town officials to occasionally complain about the deterioration.