Crews begin T.J. Maxx construction

JOHNSTOWN – Construction work on a long-awaited T.J. Maxx department store at the Johnstown Shopping Center – expected to open by the holiday season – began recently.

“They’re digging some dirt over there,” Mayor Sarah Slingerland noted this week.

Construction crews weren’t working at the Johnstown Shopping Center late this week because of the holiday, but equipment was at the site.

Pennsylvania-based Johnstown Comrie Associates is building the new 23,400-square-foot, single-story, steel-frame store next to Romana’s restaurant, on the north end of the shopping center, off Route 30A.

City Fire Chief Bruce Heberer, who also is the city’s code enforcement officer, said officials of Johnstown Comrie Associates indicated to him the plan is to have the store open by November or December.

Developer Michael Wachs – owner of Johnstown Comrie Associates, the shopping center and the Johnstown Mall across the street – couldn’t be reached Friday for comment.

The new T.J. Maxx department store was first announced by Wachs in January 2012.

Based in Framingham, Mass., T.J. Maxx has about 1,000 locations nationwide and sells brand-name family apparel, accessories, shoes, gifts and jewelry at discount prices, according to its website.

The city Planning Board approved the project in April. Paul Halliday, who represents Wachs, said after that approval that about 30 new full- and part-time jobs may be created by the store.

Officials said construction on the project took longer than expected because infrastructure issues needed to be taken care of at the shopping center. Also, Wachs was waiting on financing and a final lease signed by T.J. Maxx. Otherwise, officials say the project remains the same as originally proposed.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at