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Gardner White taking over part of old Art Van campus in Warren

Gardner White will take over a portion of the massive former Art Van Inc. headquarters in Warren as it needs more space for distribution and corporate staff.

The Auburn Hills-based furniture store said Monday afternoon that it would occupy part of the property’s warehouse as well as the store and corporate office.

In a Monday afternoon interview, Gardner White President Rachel Stewart said the company will have leadership staff in Auburn Hills and Warren and some will have offices in both locations. The corporate offices in Warren are about 75,000 square feet and whatever Gardner White doesn’t use for employees will be used for other purposes.

“It is not an entire (headquarters) relocation because we are not moving all of our distribution activities,” Stewart said. “We needed more corporate office space, so we will be moving a lot of our corporate leaders to that location. What we are also doing is we simply need more space for a distribution center. These are two now very important operations” in Auburn Hills and Warren.

The new warehouse space in Warren will allow for more incoming shipment storage while also maintaining its Auburn Hills distribution center, a Monday afternoon news release says. Stewart said the Auburn Hills location is landlocked and building additional space there isn’t feasible.

“We also believe in this location,” Stewart said. “We have had a fabulous store down the street from it for 30 years.”

Also as part of the move, Gardner White will shutter that existing 40,000-square-foot store on Ryan Road and move all of those operations into the former Art Van store in Warren, which is about 100,000 square feet, Stewart said.

A spokesperson said that overall, the furniture retailer will take about 300,000 square feet of the broader former Art Van property at 6500 E. 14 Mile Rd., which totals more than 1 million square feet.

Stewart said a capital expenditure budget has not yet been determined.

Farmington Hills-based Friedman Real Estate and Southfield-based Signature Associates Inc. (Joe Hamway and Greg Hudas) were the brokerage firms on the deal.

Montreal-based Brasswater, formerly Groupe Quint, finalized its purchase of the former Art Van property plus one other for $52.5 million in September.

An email was sent to Simon Yeramian, Brasswater’s vice president of investments, on Monday afternoon seeking comment.

The property was most recently occupied by Loves Furniture Inc. and was listed at $65 million in January 2021, a jump from the previous asking price of $53.9 million. Marketing materials from Southfield-based Signature Associates Inc. at the time said the 1.06 million-square-foot building sits on 63 acres and has more than 1,150 parking spaces.

Loves Furniture bought Art Van’s assets and leases for 27 stores for $6.9 million in May 2020 and then eight months later in January 2021 went belly up.

Gardner White has taken over former Art Van stores in Canton, Rochester Hills, Saginaw, Shelby Township, Taylor and Howell, with the latter two set to open next week and next month, respectively, the release says. Within a month, it will have 13 stores, with other locations in Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Brighton, Novi, Southfield, Taylor and Waterford.


Posted By: Crain’s Detroit Business on February 7, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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