retail report: Delux Drapery plans move to former Arbor Farms building on West Stadium
Delux Drapery & Shade Co. will be moving into the former Arbor Farms Market on West Stadium in July, after being displaced by the sale of Fox Tent & Awning and impending high-rise development on South Main near downtown.
Laura Blodgett | AnnArbor.com
An interior design company specializing in window fashions and accessories for the home, Delux Drapery has been a family-run business since it opened in 1942. A long-time Ann Arbor establishment, it was originally located at 206-208 S. Fourth Ave. before moving around the corner to 221 E. Washington, where the Blue Nile is located. It relocated to 624 S. Main St. in 1994.
While searching for new digs, the main considerations for owner Steve Blunk were visibility and parking.
“I have a lot of older customers and they want to be able to park right next to the front door,” said Blunk, grandson of the store’s founder. “They don’t want to be at a mall and have to walk a long way or park in a structure.”
When landlords Becky and Dave Fox informed him they would be closing their business and selling the building, Blunk and the owner of Overture Audio briefly looked into putting together a small group of investors to buy the property, but abandoned that idea due to its risk.
Blunk then looked at the space at 2333 E. Stadium near Trader Joe’s, which was snapped up by DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen, before deliberating between two buildings on West Stadium: The former O’Leary Paint space and the former Arbor Farms location.
What sold him? The large showroom of 3,200 square feet. Including the back room, the total space of the new location comes to 5,900 square feet -a jump from his current 4,800 square feet. He also has access to a full basement for storage.
The property is owned by long-time Ann Arbor resident Leo Fox, no relation to Dave Fox. The local connection was a selling point for Blunk.
Located at 2215 West Stadium, the freestanding building is flanked by KFC on one side and Key Bank on the other side near the intersection of Liberty and Stadium.
The building has been mostly vacant for a number of years, although it has occasionally housed tenants, including an eBay store for a short time.
Blunk feels very positive about the West Stadium location.
“Lake Trust just built a bank on one of the corners there, and they are starting to redevelop where Arbor Farms is now and that’s becoming a nice area. I think there are a lot of nice changes coming to that area.”
Listing agent Bart Wise, commercial broker with Swisher Commercial, said that the goal was to find someone who could occupy the entire building as one business.
“We were very lucky to find [Delux Drapery] and the timing worked out,” said Wise. “We had opportunities _ or at least strong inquiries_ from a national franchise and a restaurant, but we really liked the idea of going with a local business with a great history.”
In exchange for a 10-year lease, Wise said the owners offered a competitive rental rate.
“We recognize that the economy has an effect on vacancies and tenants in the market and we felt like giving the tenant a good moderate rental rate in exchange for knowing this was a tenant who will be around for 10 years was the trade-off,” said Wise.
Renovations are currently under way, including adding a bathroom and a window and some minor renovations to the interior and exterior. Delux Drapery will be moving its current wooden front door to replace the grocery-style doors at the new location.
Blunk adds that one of other reasons he picked the spot was the great experience he had working with Wise.
“He was so helpful to us trying to get things accomplished. He was looking out for Leo but also trying to get us the things we needed.”
Delux Drapery will close down its store the week of July 1 for the holiday. They will reopen at the new location on July 9. Hours and phone number remain the same. (734) 662-6524. Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, Thursday 9 am to 7pm, Saturday 9am to 2pm and closed Sunday.