Northwest Bedding, a fixture on the corner of Francis Avenue and Division Street for 32 years, is scheduled to be demolished this week.
The bed-and-mattress showroom is being torn down as part of the Division Street widening project.
“It’s all coming to a head,” said Bob Evanson, owner of Northwest Bedding.
The store is moving to a temporary location three blocks south at 5925 N. Division. Evanson is planning to rebuild at Francis and Division.
“It’s going to be a big, beautiful store,” he said. “We’d love to be open before Christmas. That’s our game plan.
Evanson bought and demolished Arnold’s Hotel next to the bedding shop, as well as houses and lots behind the store for the expansion.
Evanson said he’s been in negotiations with the state since 1993, hoping to be fairly compensated for the loss of his location.
“They came in at a ridiculously low offer,” he said. “We hired an attorney and had a couple-year battle. In the spring we reached a pretrial settlement, arbitration and negotiations,” he said.
“The final settlement fell substantially short of my replacement costs,” he said. “But I’m still on the corner.”
Evanson’s proposed project includes about 14,000 square feet of retail space and 46 parking spaces.
Evanson is still amazed by his own foresight when picking that location for his store in 1966.
The streets outside his business have been widened at least twice, each time cutting in a little closer to his building, and each time bringing more traffic past his door.
“I didn’t know I had so much vision,” he said, laughing.
Drivers are often stopped at the intersection for long minutes, with nothing to do but look into the windows of the Northwest Bedding store.
“We’ve had people call in on their cell phones and ask the price of something. We’ve had wives jump out of the car and dash in while their husbands circle around and come back to park,” he said. “We have a captive audience.”
The city limits stopped at Francis and Division in 1966. There wasn’t much beyond the corner.
There was a hamburger stand and a prehung door company on the corner before Evanson bought the lot.
“We knew the city was growing to the north. Indian Trail was just starting to grow,” he said.
Evanson said he is bitter about how he was treated by the state but is optimistic about the new store.
“In six months this will all be over. I’m optimistic and excited about our new store,” he said.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: PUBLIC HEARING A rezoning hearing for Northwest Bedding’s proposed project is scheduled for Aug. 12 at 9 a.m. before city Hearing Examiner Greg Smith.
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