HARRISON – Jaren West has owned 989 Furniture and Mattress north of Harrison for more than five years. This week marks another milestone as he relocates the business to the building he purchased at 458 N. First St. Most know the building as the former laundromat.
“I’ve wanted this building for a few years,” West said. “I was trying to get my hands on it before. We had a couple deals lined up and they fell through. I’m grateful the process did what it did. When it went for [foreclosure] auction I was like I have to get it.”
The building wasn’t easy to turn into a furniture showroom. Concrete bases for commercial washers and dryers on the floors and the age of the building posed challenges.
“Everything had to be redone,” he said. “We thought we could reuse a lot of the stuff, but we couldn’t. We ran into problems almost everywhere. The floor itself was wavy and we had to grind down concrete. There was a lot of pedestals. We had days of grinding concrete.”
Bathrooms were relocated and trim will mask uneven floors. The back of the building is yet to be remodeled and will be a project to tackle later on.
Aside from the purchase of the building, West has invested over $35,000 in the remodel. The drop ceiling was removed and the ceiling is now exposed spray foam and painted black bringing all the attention to the interior which is finished in knotty pine and, of course, the furniture that will soon fill it.
New signage was installed on and around the building by Hogger’s Custom Sign and Design. West applied for and received a matching grant from the Harrison Downtown Development Authority for the signage portion of his project. The signs can’t be missed as you drive down First Street.
“I went as wild as I could go,” West commented when asked about his signage color scheme.
The location was the selling point for West, who plans to capitalize on that location by carrying outdoor recreational equipment and possibly even rental items for visitors to Wilson State Park and the surrounding area in the future. For now, the business will add patio and outdoor furniture to the line of furniture and appliances it already sells. Ashley, Lane and Catnapper are national brands the store offers.
Currently, West employs two people, and with the expanded location plans to employ five to six people. His future plans don’t stop there. This spring he has plans to resurface the parking lot and work on the exterior of the building by painting and landscaping. West also plans a second location in a neighboring small town.
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