Former Walmart store purchased: official

JOHNSTOWN – The former Walmart store in town has been purchased, a town official said.

According to town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan, the sale of the building for just under $1.7 million was approved late last week.

Fagan said the company that purchased the building on Fifth Avenue Extension from Walmart is a Minnesota-based company called Runnings.

According to the company’s website, Runnings operates more than 30 retail stores throughout Minnesota, the Dakotas and Montana, selling farm and livestock equipment and supplies. The retailer’s website had no stores listed in New York state.

“The main company is similar to Tractor Supply [Company],” Fagan said.

However, Fagan said it has not been revealed what will be going into the vacant storefront.

“The closing literally just came through,” Fagan said. “We are expecting something shortly.”

Runnings is part of Do It Best Corp., a member-owned hardware, lumber and building materials co-operative, according to Randy Rusk, press officer for Do It Best.

Rusk could not confirm Runnings had purchased the building.

A spokesman for Runnings could not be reached for comment.

The Johnstown Walmart closed in August when the new Supercenter opened further south on Route 30A in Gloversville.

Walter Lane, a town board member, said Friday the sale of the building and the prospect of a new business would benefit the town.

“It is a step towards recovering some of the sales tax [lost] when the Walmart moved out of that building,” Lane said.

Aside from sales tax revenue, he said, a new business could lead to more commerce for other stores.

“I think it will be good for everybody in that area,” Lane said.

Fagan said the building will not be covered by any Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreement or tax break, due to its status as a mercantile business.

Walmart officials could not be reached for comment for this story.

Johnstown Supervisor Nancy MacVean was unavailable for comment. Town Board Member Daryl Baldwin declined to comment on the alleged sale.