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VOL. 119 | NO. 30 | Monday, February 14, 2005

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Ethan Allen to Relocate Near Wolfchase

Ethan Allen Picks Site Near Wolfchase

Furniture store to relocate to growing retail center


The Daily News

Its new home will be just a few blocks north of its current location, but when Ethan Allen opens a new location on Germantown Parkway, the national furniture chain expects it to make a world of difference for the store.

Added convenience. Ethan Allen Interiors Inc., headquartered in Danbury, Conn., has more than 300 stores, including an existing Cordova location at 1820 N. Germantown Parkway. But the company is relocating the store to get closer to the retail traffic surrounding Wolfchase Galleria.

This is in keeping with our business strategy of relocating stores to more convenient shopping locations, said Peg Lupton, director of investor and public relations for Ethan Allen.

A $3 million building permit for Ethan Allen Inc. was filed Feb. 3 for construction of a new retail facility at 2397 N. Germantown Parkway, just blocks north of its present location near Dexter Road, according to The Daily News Public Records Database, www.memphisdailynews.com. The company purchased the property for $1.2 million from TomBo Properties Inc.

Developing center. The relocation will place the store in a still-growing area of retail development near Interstate 40 that already features Kohls, Ashley Furniture HomeStore and Costco. A Toyota dealership also is being constructed nearby. Situated at the northwest corner of Germantown and Bellevue parkways, the commercial corridor is rapidly developing.

Its great real estate, said Danny Buring, a broker with The Shopping Center Group Inc. Its a great site because everything is basically gone at Wolfchase, so it makes a lot of sense for things to start filtering back south of the Interstate.

Ethan Allen will open on an outparcel located in front of the Kohls store at 2335 N. Germantown.

Construction of the 20,000-square-foot, standalone store will start in the spring with completion set for early fall, Lupton said. About 17,000 square feet of the store will house display space.

The new location will provide 24 percent more display space so that we can better display both the casual and the classic form of lifestyles for our customers, Lupton said. We will plan an orderly transition from the existing store to the new store.

Retail powerhouse. Buring said the location of the new store is in demand.

Theyre making a home-run decision on a couple of different fronts, Buring said of Ethan Allens decision to relocate to Germantown and Bellevue. Theyre going to be on an outparcel at a very strong location, right off the interstate and in front of some big, serious power. Theyre right next to Costco, in front of Kohls.

Ethan Allens new site also is in the immediate vicinity of Ashley Furniture HomeStore, which recently opened next door to Kohls. The retail center is likely to become home to more furniture stores, Buring said.

There will be more furniture stores, absolutely, he said. I think theyre among the few industries where some grouping is good, whether theyre in the centers next door to each other or theyre in the same center. I think when people buy furniture, its like buying electronics. You like to go shop a couple of different places all together. Its like the grouping you have with car dealers. Maybe you dont want to be on top of each other, but I think all being in the same area is good.

New dealership. Germantown near Bellevue Parkway wont be home to a grouping of automobile dealerships, but it will house one. Wolfchase Toyota is being constructed on the intersections northwest corner.

An $8.9 million building permit was filed Dec. 9 for the site by UnitedAuto Group, according to The Daily News database. Little Rock, Ark.-based Kinco Constructors is the general contractor.

Scheduled to open in the fourth quarter, the 15-acre development is owned by UnitedAuto Group, which operates 101 international franchises and 152 U.S. franchises, including three in Memphis and two in Southaven.

Were developing 100 percent of it as a single-line Toyota dealership that is being added to the market, not a relocation, said Kent Ritchey, area vice president for UnitedAuto Group.

Wolfchase market. While not as prevalent as along Covington Pike, auto dealerships are an increasing presence in the Wolfchase area.

Weve watched that market for the last 15 years, Ritchey said. Toyota is one of the last major manufacturers to go out there. We just kept waiting for the critical mass and for the right spot. We wanted to be near the mall; we just didnt want to be next to the mall.

While there are other dealerships in the area, Wolfchase Toyota will be the only one at the Germantown/Bellevue intersection, Ritchey said.

Weve been deluged by people who wanted to develop part of the 15 acres or put other franchises on there, but our agreement is one franchise, he said. The way its zoned and the way the PUD (planned unit development) is done, there cant be any other automobile activities of any kind, let alone a dealership along that corridor.


PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751