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Dan Hust | Democrat

Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce President Terri Ward and her Partnership for Economic Development counterpart, Tim McCausland, both had plans for separate expos earlier this year but decided to join forces and offer a combined home and business expo in October inside the heretofore unoccupied Liberty Mall.

Mall finally opens – for Home & Business Expo

By Dan Hust
LIBERTY — September 10, 2010 — For the better part of the past decade, county residents have watched as work has started, stopped and started again at the former Sullivan’s Department Store in Liberty.
Owned by the downstate Backer family, the Liberty Mall has faced a host of obstacles, from unexpected reinforcements of the back retaining wall to the usual difficulties in attracting chain stores to lightly populated areas.
But next month, the 114,000-square-foot building will finally be opened to the public – albeit briefly.
On October 15 and 16, the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce and the Partnership for Economic Development will host a Home and Business Expo inside the Liberty Mall, sponsored by Superior Building Supply.
Running from 2-8 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, the expo will offer up to 100 retail, industrial and non-profit vendors from inside and outside Sullivan County.
“We’ll have a temporary CO [certificate of occupancy] for the event,” noted Chamber President Terri Ward as she walked through the empty mall with Partnership President Tim McCausland on Wednesday.
Vendors and visitors will have a chance to view the mall’s two-floor interior, featuring a glass elevator, open atrium, dozens of rooms for stores – and an escalator right where the famous Sullivan’s version used to sit.
The hope is to generate interest in the mall itself. Indeed, the Backer family is donating the space for the expo’s use with that apparently in mind.
“We want to expose this space as much as we can,” explained Ward, saying the owners told her just a single tenant signing on will allow the mall to finally open.
For more information and/or to register as a vendor, call the Partnership at 794-1110. And watch the Democrat for a floorplan of the expo as the date draws nearer.

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