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Buyer found for vacant Canton Hacketts store

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CANTON — The former Hacketts clothing store in the Midtown Plaza is being purchased by the New York City businessman who owns most of the plaza.

Garry L. Cohen said he expects to close the sale by the end of June and hopes to fill the space with another retailer or professional offices.

Mr. Cohen also owns the plaza’s Jubilee grocery store that has been vacant for the past 10 years.

The former Hacketts store, 19 Miner St., has been empty since closing more than two years ago.

Mr. Cohen said he expects it will be easier to find a tenant for the 5,300-square-foot store because the building is so much smaller than his 16,000-square-foot grocery store.

“I think there is a demand for a space that size,” Mr. Cohen said. “People have approached me in the past looking for a smaller space.”

He also owns most of the plaza’s parking lot and the buildings that house Rite Aid pharmacy and Freihofer’s Bakery Outlet.

Mr. Cohen said he plans to buy the building through a purchase proposal he submitted to bankruptcy court. The Hacketts store was among several owned by Patrick Hackett Hardware Co., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009.

He declined to divulge the purchase price.

“It will be a matter of public record at some point,” Mr. Cohen said. “I have a court-approved proposal.”

Canton Assessor Steven E. Teele said the Hacketts building was assessed for $174,000 in 2011 and has a tentative assessment of $119,000 for 2012.

Mr. Cohen said he’s also showed the Hacketts building to officials from the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency to determine whether they have ideas for tenants.

Canton Economic Development Director Linda M. McQuinn said she’s aware of businesses that are interested in the space and she would like to work with Mr. Cohen.

“Our goal is to see all commercial spaces filled and new jobs come into Canton,” Mrs. McQuinn said. “I know of a business that would go in there in a heartbeat.”

A handful of other buildings in the plaza are not owned by Mr. Cohen, including the vacant Aubuchon store, the Spicy Iguana restaurant, Green’s Furniture store and Mid-town Hair.

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