The office supply retailer is being replaced by Northern Tool + Equipment Co.

Office Depot will close on Fruitville Road late next month to make room for a Minnesota-based hardware store.

The office supplies retailer is closing its location at 5541 Fruitville Road in the Sarasota Crossings plaza owned by Commodore Realty Inc. of Key Biscayne.

Nicole Christodoulou of Commodore Realty said that the landlord and Office Depot weren’t able to come to an agreement during lease negotiations.

Office Depot didn’t want to commit to a long-term lease with Commodore, Christodoulou said, whereas the replacement tenant, Northern Tool + Equipment, was willing to sign for 10 years.

“We had to make the decision we thought was best for the shopping center and the area,” Christodoulou said.

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Tamara Solum, owner/director of children’s program Drama Kids of Manasota, said that she conducts a lot of the administrative side of her business using the Fruitville Road Office Depot.

She does not want to see the store go. She even wondered on Wednesday if there was a way to stop it from closing.

“I have to do a lot of my printing over there. They basically print up all of my scripts for me and my flyers — they do a ton of work for me,” Solum said.

The store is scheduled to close March 21, according to Office Depot. Northern Tool + Equipment will move into the 20,995-square-foot space sometime later this year. Christodoulou said she expects it will open by the fall but that will depend on how the permitting process goes.

Northern Tool sells all kinds of hardware products, including generators, trailers, water pumps, welding supplies, construction equipment, logging equipment and more. The company has several Florida locations, including in Tampa and Fort Myers.

Office Depot had 1,317 locations as of Sept. 28, 2019, according to the company’s most recent financial report. That’s down from 1,372 at the end of the same quarter in 2018.

Sarah England, a spokeswoman for Office Depot, said Tuesday that the Sarasota store closing was part of the company’s strategy to “optimize its retail footprint.”

“We will continue to serve our customers at the nearby OfficeMax stores in Sarasota as well as online at,” England wrote in an email.

Office Depot and OfficeMax are now the same company.

OfficeMax has locations at 3680 South Tuttle Ave. and 5471 Palmer Crossing in Sarasota. Office Depot has two locations in Manatee County — at Cortez Road and 14th Street West and at Manatee Avenue and 43rd Boulevard — one in Venice at 1564 U.S. 41 Bypass and another in Englewood at 1500 Placida Road.

Northern Tool isn’t the only new tenant on its way to Sarasota Crossings. Christodoulou said that a Ferguson plumbing and kitchen showroom is moving into 12,000 square feet of the 30,000-square-foot former hhgregg box. The remaining 18,000 square feet is still available, she said.

Commodore is also looking for tenants to fill a 1,600- to 3,200-square-foot space near Smoothie King on Honore Avenue and for a replacement tenant in an outparcel formerly occupied by Checkers. There’s also been interest in the 11,000-square-foot former LifeWay Christian Store spot, but no lease has been signed, she said.

“We would just like someone that would provide synergy to the shopping center, and be a positive use for the neighborhood,” she said.