Harbor Freight

Harbor Freight, a nationwide tool and equipment company, opens its doors at 8 a.m. today at 3838 S. Sixth St., in Klamath Falls. A grand opening is planned for Nov. 2.

A new Harbor Freight store will open its doors at 8 a.m. today at 3838 S. Sixth Street in the Town & Country Shopping Center in Klamath Falls.

Employees completed training and prepped the 16,500-square-foot store on Monday for opening day. Paul Romanus of StoreCrafters, a retail general contractor based in New York, confirmed the opening date.

About 30-some employees have been hired at the location to date, according to Zubied Ramzan, project lead for setting up the store.

A grand opening is planned for 8 a.m. on Nov. 2, according to Ramzan.

“We’ve got all positions filled at this location,” Ramzan said.

Cumberland Holdings, a California company, purchased the Town & Country Shopping Center in September 2013 for $2.4 million.

“We’re long-term owners,” said Scott Chernoff, a principal at Cumberland Holdings. “We want to put the right tenants in there.”

Chernoff said Harbor Freight first expressed interest in the South Sixth Street site in April earlier this year and submitted a letter of intent in May.

He believes there is potential to fill more spaces at the shopping center in the months to come.

“We are on the radar screen for a number of tenants that are considering expansion in Southern Oregon,” Chernoff said.

Chernoff is confident the shopping center is making retail strides from where it was more than three years ago, before Cumberland Holdings purchased the center.

“It was kind of a ghost town,” Chernoff said of the shopping center. “Now it’s vibrant. We’ve brought the occupancy percentage from about 40 percent to about 65 percent.

Chernoff also expressed confidence in Harbor Freight as a business, which sells a wide variety of tools, equipment, and more.

“It’s a very dynamic company,” Chernoff said. “They’re on rapid expansion (nationwide).”

Chernoff said the swift turnaround time for the store is due to simultaneous planning and working on a lease for the store.

In addition to Harbor Freight, Chernoff said Cumberland Holdings extended a lease with neighboring Big Lots for 10 years.

“As part of that, we expanded their store by about 5,000 feet,” Chernoff said. “They needed more square footage.”

Construction to add space at Big Lots is still underway, Chernoff said.