- A Downtown Junkers owner hopes the shop will be ready to open at its new Main Street location in early April.
- The shop is moving in advance of a major revitalization project in Farmington's downtown district.
- The Complete Streets project consultant said the move is a good sign for downtown businesses.
Owners say business has run out of space in its current location
FARMINGTON — Downtown Junkers will be changing locations in the downtown district next month.
Sarah Herrera, one of the shop’s owners, said the store will close at its 109 N. Allen St. location on March 17 in order to make the move to the old General Supply Country Store at 201 E. Main St. She said the shop plans to open at its new location in early April.
Downtown Junkers is a family-owned refurbished antique and vintage treasure shop. Herrera said the shop opened at the current location in June 2016, and after a successful period of almost two years, the shop has outgrown its current home.
“We were talking about leaving, but we didn’t know where we wanted to go,” Herrera said on Thursday. “We were talking about more exposure to walking traffic and foot traffic as far as the location, and I think we’ve outgrown this building. We’ve kind of done as much as we can do here, so (the General Supply building) just seemed like a right fit.”
The General Supply shop will offer increased showroom space and has the potential to draw pedestrian shoppers who might not make the half-block journey off Main Street to the current store, Herrera said.
“The new store is going to be a big deal with foot traffic and getting our name out there,” Herrera said. “People just don’t want to walk the 20 feet to us off of the main drag. They just don’t want to do it, and I don’t blame them — they don’t know what they’re coming down to, and once you’re here, you’re kind of committed to coming in, so being on the main street … will be a good thing.”
Downtown Junkers will be the first tenant at the old General Supply store in two or three years, according to John Beckstead, whose family owns the building. Beckstead said his great-grandfather established General Supply as a feed store in 1931, and the Beckstead family ran the business until after his father’s recent death. The family sold the business, which moved to Kirtland, and the building has been empty since.
Beckstead said his family was thinking about renting the space, and when the Downtown Junkers owners approached them, the business “seemed like the right fit for the building.”
“We’ve just been waiting to find the right tenant to go in there,” Beckstead said on Friday, adding that “we’re just in the process of cleaning 75-plus years of feed store out so they can (move in).”
Downtown Junkers will move in ahead of a major project that is meant to change downtown’s atmosphere from a vehicle thoroughfare to a pedestrian-friendly culture, and restaurant and shopping district.
The city of Farmington has plans to renovate a blocks-long stretch of West Main Street in an attempt to revitalize the downtown district through the Complete Streets Project. Scott Day, a consultant who specializes in city revitalization projects, said a local business moving to the main drag bodes well for upcoming construction, which many downtown stakeholders fear will be a detriment to their business.
“It’s a really good sign that an existing smaller business needs more space,” Day said on Feb. 27 during a consulting visit to the city. “That’s often your first source of potential tenants of downtown (buildings) is existing businesses needing more space, so that’s a really tell-tale sign for you to be able to say, ‘Hey, look, people are not trying to leave downtown. People are expanding.’ That’s very positive.”
Herrera said she’s looking forward to the revitalization plans and hopes the city’s construction mitigation plans — like a back-entrance access and alley beautification project — will make a difference for downtown businesses.
“I think that downtown Farmington could be so absolutely great,” Herrera said. “It has all of the requirements, it has all of the guts to be a great place. I think it’s really up to the residents of Farmington to make it that way.”
Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.