Rome Sentinel

Hobby Lobby could be future tenant in Rome plaza

BY NICOLE A. HAWLEY Staff writer

A Hobby Lobby store may become a future tenant of Freedom Plaza, 205 Erie Blvd. W., according to a listing on the DCL Management Corp. website on Friday, March 17.

Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo said Friday that the city is in discussions with the Freedom Plaza ownership group, DCL Management Corp., on an unspecified potential development. Izzo said that she could not comment further on any potential new tenant at the plaza; and no additional information on the possibility of the project was available at this time.

Back in November, the Zoning Board of Appeals approved an area variance for a 30-foot wide by 7-foot high Five Below retail sign for the future store location at the former JC Penney. A month prior, DCL officials said an agreement had not yet been finalized with Five Below for a location at the plaza.

It is unknown if negotiations will also include Five Below locating at the former JCPenney site, or if only Hobby Lobby would occupy the space. The former JCPenney store had been an anchor since the development of Freedom Plaza during the city’s Urban Renewal efforts in the 1990s until its closing in 2020.

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. owns a chain of arts and crafts stores, which had a volume of more than $5 billion in 2018. The chain has 969 stores in 47 states, according to its website.

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