Revealing the eye-popping results of a $3.5 million “extreme makeover,” City Furniture has opened the first of five stores in its tricounty expansion — the newly transformed Dadeland area showroom at 9255 S. Dixie Hwy. in Pinecrest.
With business on the upswing as the economy improves, City Furniture president Keith Koenig said South Florida’s top-selling furniture retailer is launching construction of additional stores to dramatically increase sales in proven locations. Construction was scheduled to begin for stores in Cutler Bay and Oakland Park.
The company added 25 permanent jobs in connection with the Dadeland store and plans to add about 60 more firm wide by early 2013, Koenig said. The expansion in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties also is creating work for several hundred in the construction trades.
City Furniture’s highest performing location per square foot, the Dadeland store has nearly doubled in size with addition of a second floor. The 28,556-square-foot showroom is one of the nation’s greenest furniture stores and brings City Furniture’s upscale “next generation” store design into sharp focus for consumers. When Koenig and his late brother Kevin, the company’s founder, built the store as a Waterbed City in 1992, the location’s potential was clear.
“Kevin had the idea of building a structure tall enough to eventually have a second floor, which would require a zoning variance,” Keith Koenig said. “As Waterbed City until 1994, and then as a full-line City Furniture store, the location has been outstanding.”
The zoning variance was approved in 2010, and transformation moved ahead with- in the existing building’s envelope.
“Thanks to Kevin’s vision, we could expand on land purchased 20 years ago, instead of having to sell and find a new location,” Koenig said.
“Consumers’ tastes and expectations are changing faster than ever, and our next generation design reflects that reality,” Koenig explained. “Today’s customers want a shop- ping experience that inspires their imagination, delivers outstanding quality for the price — and reflects a company’s lasting values. They research first online and expect a ‘wow’ factor when they invest time to visit a store.”
To meet those expectations, City Furniture is reinventing its store environments and introduced a new website this spring. The firm’s next generation store design is decid- edly upscale, with high-fashion displays and museum-quality finishes. While City
Furniture’s exceptional value for the price and same-day delivery are unchanged, the new store design features a host of innovative energy efficient features. Each store in the expansion is being built to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council — a natural extension of City Furniture’s corporate values and sustainable practices. Nationwide, only a handful of furniture stores have achieved LEED certification.
At the Dadeland store just completed by Stiles Construction, second-floor balconies overlook a dramatic 27-foot-high central atrium. Adding eye appeal are richly textured “green” materials such as a solid cherry Hitchcock panel wall made with reclaimed wood, and natural stone feature walls with recycled Italian stone.
Energy- and water-saving features range from interior and exterior LED lighting and a super high efficiency HVAC system, to drip irrigation and environmentally sound paints,
coatings, adhesives, carpet and flooring. Plantings of mature palms and other native foliage buffer and beautify the view from neighboring homes.
At each new South Florida location, Koenig’s team is building on the success of the company’s City Furniture/Ashley Furniture HomeStore superstore concept. City Furniture is the Ashley Furniture HomeStore licensee in Southeast and Southwest Florida and has had strong results by offering the two brands in adjoining stores in Boca Raton, Stuart, Wellington, Fort Myers and Naples.
Koenig expects the new Cutler Bay City Furniture store to be completed in spring 2013, and Stiles Construction will then renovate and connect the existing City Furniture store on the property at SW 187th Street as an adjacent Ashley Furniture HomeStore.
The furniture retailer operates 14 City Furniture and nine Ashley Furniture HomeStore locations in Southeast and Southwest Florida. For information visit www.cityfurniture.com.