Historic Stone Store in Clarendon welcomes new tenant
CLARENDON – The latest chapter in the history of the Clarendon Stone Store has begun with the arrival of KD Flooring & Supply as the new tenant in the ground floor commercial space.
Owner Ken Draper, a Kendall native who now makes his home in Clarendon and who has been in the flooring business since he was 15, says he is thrilled with the location and especially appreciates the history of the building – built in 1836 from Medina sandstone.
“I love this location, I love this old building. I’m here to stay,” he said. “I have no intentions of leaving.”
Draper previously owned Orleans Carpet, which was located on Rt. 104 east of Rt. 98. Recently, his business was located in the village of Holley, but he said parking was an issue. He says he initially was interested in the old grain mill, which sits in the Clarendon hamlet just south of the NYS Routes 237 and 31A intersection where the Stone Store is located, but after looking into that property found, “it would have been too expensive to rehab.”
That’s where Clarendon Historian/Code Enforcement Officer Melissa Ierlan comes in. Draper said she suggested the Stone Store, as the former tenant was leaving.
“It’s a perfect situation for us,” Ierlan says of the flooring business, noting it is a great fit for Clarendon and the Stone Store location. After Draper opened, Ierlan took a stack of 8 X 10 copies of historic photos of the store to the shop and Draper said customers have enjoyed looking through them.
The building, which is listed on the State and National Historic Registers, functioned as a general store until 1975. It was broken into apartments in later years but by 2007 was sitting empty. The Town of Clarendon was ready to demolish the landmark in 2011 when a group of concerned residents formed the Old Stone Store Preservation Committee and rallied to save the structure from the wrecking ball.
The town agreed to put the building on the market and sell it for one dollar, as long as the new owner could provide a suitable plan for restoration and future use. Late in 2012, Sue and Joe Fertitta of Parma purchased the building and began the work of restoration/ rejuvenation.
Clarendon Supervisor Richard Moy said he is overjoyed with the way the Old Stone Store turned out. “Joe and Sue Fertitta did an outstanding job refurbishing the old store so it could become a viable business and at the same time preserve its historic past. Too many times old historic structures get demolished and once they are gone, some of our history goes with it.”
Supervisor Moy said many people in the Clarendon community are appreciative of the work done by the Fertittas.
“It is also important to note that the building is still on our tax rolls and the building generates sales tax for the entire county,” Moy added.
Draper now has the ground floor shop filled with displays and flooring samples from which customers can choose – carpet, tile, linoleum, laminate, hardwood, and ceramic choices abound for both commercial and residential customers.
“I do whatever I can to save customers money,” Draper said. “I keep overhead low and sell below the suggested retail price. I can beat anybody’s price.”
Draper provides installation, but also can guide customers through do-it-yourself projects. He offers “a premium product … first quality name brands with the best prices guaranteed,” he said, and added that 90 percent of the products he sells are American made.
The quality and durability of flooring choices has improved dramatically in recent years – “Some flooring will now last a lifetime,” Draper said.
He works to make sure the shop offers the latest designs, styles and colors and follows that up with customer service. “I educate the customers,” he said. “There’s a lot they don’t know. I educate them here and in their home.”
Draper also offers additional discounts to seniors and veterans, and will continue to honor warranties for customers of Orleans Carpet.
“I stand behind any flooring products you purchase,” he noted, guaranteeing labor for life.
KD Flooring & Supply is open 10 am – 7 pm Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri., and Sat. The store is closed on Wed., and Sun., but Draper says he is available to come to the store anytime. Customers can call 585-638-2492.