Expanding Harbour View East

Published 9:55 pm Monday, March 7, 2011

The PetSmart at Harbour View East in North Suffolk will be opening its doors to customers on April 11. The grand opening event will take place that weekend.

Pet lovers, sports aficionados and clotheshorses will be thrilled with new developments in the Harbour View East shopping center in North Suffolk.

Three stores — PetSmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods and T.J. Maxx — will be opening their doors soon in the location off Bridge Road.

“When I look at that entire development, it’s coming together for us,” said Kevin Hughes, director of economic development. “It’s becoming a retail destination for us in Suffolk.”

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PetSmart will be opening its doors to customers on April 11 at 9 a.m. The grand opening event is scheduled for April 16.

“There will be a lot more hoopla on Saturday to kick it off,” said Glenn Ellis, PetSmart manager.

The event will feature balloons, T-shirts, prize drawings, pet adoptions and more.

PetSmart’s mission is to care for pets for their entire lives, Ellis said. The store offers services like a pet salon that bathes and grooms animals; beginning, intermediate and advanced pet training that makes use of positive reinforcement methods; cat and dog adoption through different humane societies, and more. PetSmart sells fish, reptiles, birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, gerbils and more. It offers food and other supplies for all of the animals it carries, as well as for cats, dogs and wild birds.

At PetSmart, patrons can even visit the store with their well-behaved, leashed pets.

All of the staff are trained or certified in their particular area, so that they can provide the same quality of service to all customers.

“Our main goal is to provide total lifetime care — every parent, every pet, every time,” he said.

Customer service, pet training, grooming and adoption are just a few of the things that set PetSmart apart, according to Ellis.

“Adoption is a big deal. Every animal we can adopt out is saving a life,” Ellis said.

There will be parking on both sides of the building and in the front, making the store more accessible to customers.

“It’s in a good spot,” Ellis said. “It’s a growing area. There’s not many pet stores in that area.”

T.J. Maxx will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on March 24 at 8 a.m. There is no word on whether it will open its doors prior to that time.

“They’re nearly finished with the completion and the stocking of the store,” Hughes said.

The Dick’s Sporting Goods store is at an earlier stage in the process. Construction crews are preparing the property where Dick’s Sporting Goods will be built, next door to the new T.J. Maxx location.

They are currently dealing with issues with the infrastructure. Crews had to prepare the lot for a larger building than they initially planned for in that lot. They began by moving gas and water lines in January.

“It’s a really strong tenant for that shopping center,” Hughes said.

The store will bring more diversity to the shopping center. Hughes said that in planning for shopping centers, it is important to have variety so that there are more options in a concentrated area. Customers can make multiple stops within the same shopping center and get all of their shopping done in one place.

“It creates opportunities for folks in Suffolk to shop in Suffolk,” he said. “I think it speaks volumes to the growth of the city and opportunities people will have in their own neighborhood.”

The near completion of this shopping center, he said, frees up the city to look into opening new shopping locations and expanding others.

“We’re looking toward the future,” Hughes said.