The Fort Orange General Store is re-opening

Fort Orange General Store Broadway pre exterior

The exterior of the shop's new space on Broadway.

The Fort Orange General Store is returning, with a new owner and a new location in downtown Albany.

The new owner is Schuyler Bull. And the new location is a street-level space at 412 Broadway -- the Argus Building -- across from the SUNY administration plaza. He's aiming for a soft opening in mid May.

The popular shop opened on Delaware Ave in 2014 selling a mix of gifts, accessories, home goods, stationery, and kitchen items in a beautifully-designed space -- and apparently had been doing well. But owners Caroline Corrigan and Katy Smith announced last year they were closing in order to focus on their careers outside the business and take some time off.

Fort_Orange_General_Store_Broadway_pre_exterior_wide.jpg

"I thought it was a great concept and something I didn't want Albany to lose," Bull said this week of the store. "So I kind of explored my options and decided to reach out to them to see what we could do and everything just fell into place."

Bull's current job is assistant director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District. And he recently moved downtown to one of the newly-converted apartments in the neighborhood.

"There's a lot of development happening here, a lot of exciting projects -- the Albany Capital Center, the renovation of the Times Union Center atrium, all the residential units that have been added here, and all the projects that are being fed into the pipeline," he said. "I just feel [the store] fits into the landscape here."

"Katy and I are so happy to have connected with Schuyler. He will do a fantastic job carrying on the business," Caroline Corrigan said via email this week. "Downtown is finally beginning to transform, and Fort Orange will hopefully be one of those anchor businesses like Stacks, Steuben St. Market and Cider Belly that can add to what would attract new residents."

Retail taking root

Fort_Orange_General_Store_Broadway_pre_block.jpg

Retail often seems like one of hardest pieces of the development puzzle for the area's urban centers. But there are signs it's taking root again in downtown Albany.

There is, of course, B. Lodge & Co., which has been there virtually forever. Fresh & Fly has been operating for more than a decade now. Angela's Bridal opened a storefront on State Street a few years back. The Steuben Street Market grocery opened a little more than a year ago. And more recently Daniel Mozzes Design Studio opened in a space just off Pearl Street this year.

Schuyler Bull said he and Paula Patterson -- Fort Orange's new creative director and assistant manager -- are planning a range of different events to keep people coming through the shop, including craft nights, tastings, and maybe yoga classes. And with about 2,000 square feet to work with, they have some flexibility to move things around.

Fort_Orange_General_Store_Broadway_pre_look_inside_empty.jpg

"We want to program the space as much as possible. We want this to be a space that the community feels really welcome in, that they can come in and hang out," he said. "It's not just a retail space, it's a community center, a place for people to come and enjoy themselves."

And of the common refrain about things like parking? Bull points to the parking garage located just to the west of Broadway behind the store and the easy access via public transportation.

What to expect

Fort_Orange_General_Store_Broadway_pre_Patterson_Bull.jpg
Paula Patterson and Schuyler Bull

When the new Fort Orange General Store opens in May, Patterson said it will be feel familiar to previous customers -- but with a new spin.

"Definitely a similar concept," she said. "We don't want to take every single thing they had and put it on the shelves, but keep the same vibe they had. Up-and-coming products, local things, stuff you can't get everywhere."

Bull said the extra room at the new location will allow them to stock more products, including locally-themed items. "We really have an opportunity to take what they had and expand on it."

Earlier

+ Follow up: Fort Orange General Store

+ About retail in downtown Albany, and other local downtowns

Find It

Fort Orange General Store
412 Broadway
Albany, NY 12207

Comments

Putting a retail space on a dead-end block with zero foot traffic? I wish them the best.

Talk about naysayers! Broadway is not a dead-end block.

Yes I forgot about the bustling E-Comm Square complex at the end of the block.

So funny the naysayers! Good luck to these brave and ambitious kids! Make Albany Great Again.....one shop and block at a time. It reminds me of the British laughing at the Irish in NYC when they built St Patrick's Cathedral.The British couldn't believe they would build "so far out of the city".....and it was a wasteland and nothing would ever be built around it! LMAO! Will remind the naysayers when I see them working at the fast food drive thru that these young entrepreneurs did well and helped to change a city!

Maybe I'm missing something, but this area always seems to be fairly bustling during the 9-5, especially during the warmer months. I can see a lot of good foot traffic during lunch over the summer months especially. Yes, during the weekend, there is less traffic here (most of its on the other end towards Quakenbush Square), but I can see this place being a good draw.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

The return of the blue snowflakes

The Albany Pine Bush is an unusual example of an inland pine barrens, and it's one of the few homes to an unusual inhabitant: The... (more)

New York State Bike Summit

The first New York State Bike Summit will be at the Hearst Media Center* September 15. Blurbage: This Summit will provide a forum for advocates,... (more)

Walking Myrtle Ave, end to end

One of the best ways to get to know a city is to walk it. That's true for cities in which you've just arrived --... (more)

Here's how New York State's new paid family leave program will work

New York State's new paid family leave program will allow people to start taking leave January 1. And this week the Cuomo admin released a... (more)

Cleanup/investigation continue in Madison Avenue fire, calls for GE to continue Hudson cleanup, dates set in for Kaloyeros/Percoco trials

Madison Avenue fire Cleanup continues at the site of a fire that destroyed four homes on Madison Avenue in Albany on Monday night. Authorities have... (more)

Recent Comments

Whenever I drive into the Warehouse District, things get eerily quiet. If I get out of my car, I can't see anyone else around, and I get the sense that Nipper is watching me... sometimes I feel like I can just barely see his tail wagging out of the corner of my eye. That's crazy, right? I always get an urge to pick up a tree branch and throw it... but there aren't any trees. When I feel the first playful bite on the back of my leg, that's when it's time to get back in the car and drive. #nipperisalive

Drawing: Murder Mystery Night at Takk House

...has 37 comments, most recently from mg

Walking Myrtle Ave, end to end

...has 13 comments, most recently from Beyj

"This may seem like an obsession, but it is not. This is the residue of an obsession."

...has 1 comment, most recently from acw

Troy Summer Square starts this week

...has 1 comment, most recently from S

Word(s) on the street

...has 11 comments, most recently from Randal Putnam