A 328-store chain that bills itself as having the number one selling brand of furniture in North America is opening its first store in the region.
A 56,500-square-foot Ashley Furniture HomeStore is planned on 3.7 acres of land in the Liberty Lake Corporate Park, just west of The Home Depot.
The independently operated HomeStores are licensed to sell products made by Arcadia, Wis.-based Ashley Furniture Industries Inc. According to the company Web site, the stores offer lower priced items because they cut out middleman expenses.
“We design it, we built it and we deliver it,” explained Ben Thorud, who will own the business with Jed and Jennifer Heggen — a Missoula, Mont., couple who own five other Northwest stores.
The Liberty Lake complex will employ about 25 people and will include a Sleep City mattress shop with a separate entrance, Thorud said.
The group will lease the building from Heggen-McKenna Properties LLC, which purchased the land from Liberty Lake Land Co. LLC for an undisclosed price. The sale was finalized earlier this week, according to Jim Quigley, who handled the property transaction with Chad Carper, both of Kiemle & Hagood Co.
The partners are also looking for a building to house a distribution center that will employ another 30 people, Thorud said, adding that the partnership recently opened a store in the Tri-Cities and plans to expand in this market.
“We’re planning on opening a second store in Spokane, sometime in early- to mid-2008,” he said.
The Liberty Lake store’s layout includes a large indoor water feature and a seating area that will be stocked with Playstations to keep kids entertained while mom and dad shop, he said.
According to Amanda Taino, a planner for Liberty Lake, a building permit application filed for the Ashley Furniture HomeStore is currently under review.
Once construction is underway, Thorud said, it generally takes six to eight months to complete the building.
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