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New Home Depot enters finishing phase

By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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Construction of Auburn’s Home Depot is on track for a mid-February opening, store spokeswoman Kathryn Gallagher said. “Right now, on the inside, we are preparing for racking to start in the next few weeks,” she said. “(Outside), they’re finishing paving and working on the exterior finishes of the building.” The scope of the project is larger than usual for Home Depot, she said. “Fifty percent of the front façade is brick veneer. A lot of work is going into making the building fit in with the look of the community,” she said. In addition to the brick, the building will feature a variety of textures and colors, she said. “It will have our newest showrooms featuring the newest lighting, kitchen and bath products,” she said. “They update those categories quite often.” Home Depot expects to bring on approximately 100 full- and part-time employees locally, with interviews to begin about 60 days before the store opens. A hiring trailer likely will be onsite by late December, Gallagher said. “The store will be seeking all levels of expertise from experienced tradespeople — carpenters, painters, plumbers — to folks with no experience,” she said. “Full- and part-time associates are offered benefits, so it is a great job opportunity.” Applicants will have a choice of applying at the onsite trailer or submitting a resume at the Web site www.careers.homedepot.com. The Web site will not be activated until about 60 days before the store opens, Gallagher said. The Auburn Home Depot is 103,000 square feet with an additional 25,000-square-foot garden center. It will include a tool rental center, a service featured in many, but not all, of the stores. The sluggish economy has not impeded the store’s progress. “It has made Home Depot more conservative in growth as far as where to locate stores,” Gallagher said. “But research has shown that Auburn is a solid market for the retail store. We’re excited to open a store there.” Auburn resident Woody Rupp has been monitoring the progress of the North Auburn project. “I would have preferred that Home Depot not come to Auburn, especially in the crowded Highway 49/Bell Road site,” he wrote in an e-mail this week. “When I shop for hardware/home items, I first go to local Auburn-area stores before I include Home Depot in my search — i.e. Roseville. With Home Depot in Auburn, I will probably find myself going there without giving my business to local “family-owned” stores. Home Depot prices are often lower to a significant degree. I don’t mind low prices.” For contractor Ed Carillo of Ed’s Drywall Service in Meadow Vista, the store’s opening is likely going to save him some trips to Roseville. “I actually get a lot of my supplies from there,” he said. But contractor Steve Dreyer of Steve’s Home Service in Auburn has mixed feelings. “I’m looking forward to it because it will offer a big retail facility nearby, but I’m concerned about the impact it will have to local hardware stores,” Dreyer said. “It’s kind of the effect of the big-box store. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.” The Journal’s Gloria Young can be reached at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com or comment at Auburnjournal.com.