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La-Z-Boy exploring options for new headquarters

Carole Sloan, Larry Thomas -- Furniture Today, August 17, 2012

MONROE, Mich. — La-Z-Boy says it is exploring options for a new corporate headquarters, and is seeking state and local economic incentives in hopes of keeping the facility in Monroe, where the company was founded in 1927.

The company said it is in talks with the Monroe-based Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary order to acquire "a significant tract of land" currently on the group's Monroe campus.

If the IHM site is selected, La-Z-Boy said it is committed to developing "a landmark office campus" that includes a LEED-certified building and the maintenance of an endangered oak savannah eco-system on the IHM tract.

"The World Headquarters project is the start of an exciting new chapter for La-Z-Boy, and we are enthused about our potential purchase agreement with the Sisters, Servants of Immaculate Heart of Mary, and with the possibility of staying in Monroe," said Kurt Darrow, chairman and CEO.

Revenue from the sale would enable IHM to continue the development of its campus as a learning lab for sustainable living, as well as to sustain the mission and assist with the congregation's retirement needs, the company said.

"The La-Z-Boy project will demonstrate that sustainability incorporates economic, social, environmental and spiritual values," said Sister Janet Ryan of IHM. "That is why this project is so appealing to IHM."

The company said it has begun discussions with the state of Michigan, Monroe County, the city of Monroe and other government entities about economic incentives, rezoning and related issues. It hopes to make a final decision on the headquarters site by the end of the year.

The company said other undisclosed sites in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio also are under consideration.

La-Z-Boy said it hasn't determined what it will do with its existing headquarters once the new facility is completed, but said it "would seek options for redeveloping the facility and grounds in a way that would be beneficial to the community."

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