By Joshua Maloni
On Monday, architect James Fittante presented the Village of Lewiston Planning Commission with a proposal to expand the Tops Xpress mini-market on Cayuga and South Eighth streets. The five-member panel unanimously supported the idea, which now goes to the Village Board for approval.
"The existing building is 675 square feet. The new expansion would be 675 feet," Fittante said. "We'd be doubling the size going south. ... We're going to be updating the existing building and then tying in the new addition to that."
Fittante said the exterior would be enhanced. A handful of trees and restriped parking spaces will be added. He noted the project is code-compliant.
Planning Board Vice Chairwoman Anne Welch called the idea, "Very nice." She asked for one additional tree to bolster the green space. That request was accepted.
On Tuesday, Tops owner Anthony DiMino said, "My goal is always to do more business."
He explained, "Basically, we're remodeling for two reasons: One, it has a basement. And it's been taxing to go up and down with stock. So, for my associates, we're going to create a back room for them.
"We needed a better restroom. So now we'll build an ADA-approved bathroom.
"And then we're going to expand our beer selection, our drink selection, and probably put some more food replacement items in. Grab and go. We haven't decided yet, but it's kind of like what every other convenience store puts in. Maybe pizza. Maybe a slushie machine. Maybe a milkshake machine. I haven't really decided. That's kind of what's going to go in there.
"We're kind of looking at the future. We know eventually Tim Hortons is going to be opening (in the Ellicott Development plaza on Center Street). At that point in time, we'll probably be taking Tim Hortons out of both stores and go with the Tops program."
DiMino said he has some additional equipment leftover from the recent Tops remodel that will go into the mini-market.
He recently put in new gas tanks at the second location, which required Tops Xpress to close for about one month earlier this spring. DiMino said this next project won't require any down time.
"We're not closing the store," he said. "We're just going to build the new addition. Probably put an air curtain up."
DiMino said he expects the expansion to finish by the end of October.
The Tops Xpress will expand to the left of the pictured building.