Former High Point factory to become new showroom building
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today, October 25, 2012
HIGH POINT — The owners of case goods importer Woodbrook Designs and upholstery importer Boliya USA are acquiring a 48,000-square-foot former furniture factory here to expand their furniture market presence and lease to other tenants as well.
Terry Seitz of Terry Seitz and Associates, who shows his Woodbrook product in 220 Elm, said the two expect to close Dec. 3 on the historic 1929 three-story brick facility at 812 Millis St., a long-vacant factory for the former Myrtle Desk Co. He declined to disclose terms of the deal with current owner of the property, Megastep Corp.
Seitz, who has been expanding his space in 220 Elm (he started with 900 square feet 11 years ago and now has 16,700) said he will continue to show there as well as in the acquired building following an extensive renovation. He hopes to have the new building ready for the April 2014 market and "if it gets done faster, that would simply be a bonus," he said.
Henrik Svendsen, CEO of Boliya USA, said his lease in the Commerce & Design building is up after the next spring market. He will then look for a one-market deal at C&D or 220 Elm for the fall 2013 market, and after that will move into the Millis Street location, as well as showing a few frames in Seitz's 220 Elm space.
Known for the elaborate dinner parties he throws for retailers and other guests during furniture market at his Emerywood home here, Seitz said he has special treatment planned for retailers visiting the new space, too. The facility, while not in High Point's showroom district, is only a 90-second car ride away from 220 Elm, he says, so Seitz will have stretch limousines parked and waiting for visitors at both locations.
In addition, Seitz said he'll serve breakfast and lunch and will offer customers free parking at the new 2.5-acre site.
Seitz described the brick building as similar in feel to Market Square, down to the old, large-plank wood flooring.
He has hired retired architect Henry J. Browne of Charlottesville, Va., to handle the renovation work. Browne is a longtime friend and "the foremost living historic architect," Seitz said, whose work includes the restoration of the U.S. Treasury building, the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial.
Seitz estimated that the partners in the new space - who both have large container-direct businesses that sell to major retailers - will invest about $250,000 in the restoration work.
"We will completely renovate it," he said, adding that the improvements will integrate the building's old charm and history. For instance, Seitz said the third floor still has some old furniture finishing booths that the new owners will leave in place "as part of the ambiance and the history of the manufacturing facility."
"It will become an historic building that High Point can be proud of," he said.
Woodbrook and Boliya will likely take a total of about 16,000 square feet, or one floor, in the new showroom building. In addition, a Seitz subtenant at 220 Elm, Italian contemporary dining room source Domitalia, probably will take about 3,000 square feet, he said.
Seitz is an owner in Domitalia USA, the manufacturer's U.S. business.
In addition, at least one apartment is planned for the new building. There will probably be about 20,000 square feet remaining to lease to other tenants, Seitz said, adding that the new owners plan to offer it for $10 a square foot.
"We just see this as great opportunity to show more unique product, and the fact that we will own our own building and will be paying ourselves rent - that's not so bad," he said.