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Harbor Freight opens in Sterling’s Pine Tree Plaza

Businesses filling up shopping center

Harbor Freight, who took over the vacated Staples building in Sterling, will be officially be opened on July 9 at 8am.

STERLING — Harbor Freight Tools is open in Pine Tree Plaza, filling the long vacant Staples spot, and there will be a grand opening July 9.

The Sterling store at 4311 E. Lincolnway is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The store fills about 15,000 square feet and will stock a broad selection of tools and equipment. The chain retailer’s inventory includes automotive tools, air and power tools, storage, outdoor power equipment, generators, welding supplies, shop equipment, and hand tools.

Harbor Freight, who took over the vacated Staples building in Sterling, will be officially be opened on July 9 at 8am.

“Our team is ready to serve and deliver value to customers in Sterling and all of Whiteside County,” store manager Andrea Hensgen said. “At Harbor Freight, we recognize that now, more than ever, our customers depend on us for the tools they need to get the job done at an affordable price.”

The business is creating 25 to 30 jobs in the area, according to a company news release, and it’s the 39th location in Illinois.

Harbor Freight, who took over the vacated Staples building in Sterling, will be officially be opened on July 9 at 8am.

Dollar Tree currently anchors the 58,209-square-foot Pine Tree Plaza, which was built in 1998, and its tenants include Sophie’s Cafe, Game Stop, Sally’s Beauty, Aaron’s, Shoe Sensation, One Main Financial and Nails Spa.

The Staples location has been vacant since 2015, when the plaza was sold through an online auction after a 28% occupancy rate put the property, then owned by Pine Partners LLC, in foreclosure that November.

In April, Pine Tree Plaza owner Kit Kyarsgaard said he had been wanting to bring in Harbor Freight since he bought the plaza in 2017, but the company was working on opening stores in Freeport and Clinton.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.