Dollar Tree to stay put for now

With Dollar Tree’s local lease expiring in May, the Laramie store manager said the chain’s corporate office had not communicated relocation plans with store employees.

Located on Grand Avenue next to Snowy Range Academy, the retail store’s staff recently investigated the option of moving into the storefront previously occupied by Hastings Entertainment, but Dollar Tree Store Manager Darlene Mayo said the store decided not to move forward with an agreement.

“They said Hastings was too big and something about the rent,” Mayo said. “I’m not sure what we’re going to do after (May).”

Currently, Albany County School District No. 1 owns the building Dollar Tree is located in, Snowy Range Academy Operations Manager Margarita Rovani said.

“Back in 2014, the state purchased the entire building for the academy’s use,” Rovani said.

While the academy has several plans for expansion, she said because of cutbacks in state funding, many of the academy’s plans for expansion are delayed. The academy currently occupies about 50 percent of the building and several sections of the building are available for expansion, she said.

“We have been expanding gradually as funding has permitted,” Rovani said.

“This coming spring, we need to add a second section of second grade.

“Without taking any of the Dollar Tree space, we will be expanding into (an unoccupied) section.”

While the school has two sections dedicated to kindergarten and first grade, Rovani said the academy’s goal was to eventually use the entire building to provide two sections to each of its kindergarten-eighth grade courses.

The renovations were estimated to cost about $9 million, she said.

“There’s no reason to believe the lease won’t be renewed,” she said.

“We don’t have plans to move into that building anytime soon.”

However, Rovani said the decision to renew the lease was between the school district and Dollar Tree.

After multiple conversations with Dollar Tree’s district and regional administrators, Mayo said they thought Dollar Tree might be able to stay at its current location because of the academy’s delayed expansion plans.

But as far as plans for lease renewal or a continued search for a different location, Mayo said she was in the dark.

“Nobody’s telling us anything here within the store,” she said.

Dollar Tree’s corporate office did not respond to requests for comment by press time Monday.

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