Highland News Leader

Furniture store plans to move into former grocery building in Highland

Learn what is coming to SuperValu building in Highland

Vidoe: Owners of The Tin Shed in Highland and Kloss Furniture in O'Fallon announce plans to build a new showroom in the vacant SuperValu building located at 1100 Broadway in Highland in Southern Illinois near Belleville, IL and St. Louis, MO.
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Vidoe: Owners of The Tin Shed in Highland and Kloss Furniture in O'Fallon announce plans to build a new showroom in the vacant SuperValu building located at 1100 Broadway in Highland in Southern Illinois near Belleville, IL and St. Louis, MO.

A local furniture store has plans to relocate to a vacant grocery store building in downtown Highland.

The Highland City Council on May 21 approved a redevelopment agreement with Kloss Furniture CEO Steve Kloss and company president Josh Kloss for them to move their business into the old Schutte's Market building on Broadway.

"We are happy to be downtown and to be a part of the community," Josh Kloss said.

The Kloss family has owned a furniture business in Highland since 1976. The family's furniture showroom was once in a building that was located where Bradford National Bank now stands at 1100 Mercantile Drive. However, a fire in 1999 leveled the building. Ever since, the family has operated out of their warehouse, also known as The Tin Shed, located at 135 Poplar St. The family also owns a Kloss Furniture showroom in O'Fallon, Illinois.

"We're just furniture nerds," Steve Kloss said.

However, the Klosses said they have outgrown the warehouse location in Highland.

"We are busting at the seams. We just don't have any more room," Josh Kloss said.

The warehouse location also inhibits the store's ability to carry its whole inventory, which is otherwise available at the O'Fallon show room. It also has no heating or air conditioning, and is not easy for the handicapped or elderly to access. Josh Kloss said he felt the like the location also kept them apart from the community.

"We felt like we were more on the outskirts of everything, being on that end of town. But by being down here (on Broadway) we can be more involved," Josh Kloss said.

Initially, Josh Kloss said they considered building a new showroom on property they already owned in Highland. However, they entered negotiations with Mike Schuette, the owner of property located at 1100 Broadway, after the grocery store announced its closing last June, which also caused businesses Nudge Coffee and Family Care Pharmacy to relocate.

Steve Kloss said they expect to spend $950,000 to purchase the property. However, a closing date has not been set as of yet, according to Josh Kloss..

The Klosses said they anticipate using The Tin Shed as a warehouse location, but all sales will be made out of the new building.

Steve Kloss said they expect to invest about $1 million into the property.

"This is going to be a major investment. We're talking changing the exterior, freshening it up, and we're going to pretty much demo the entire inside of that SuperValu (the former longtime name of Schutte's Market)," Josh Kloss said.

The Klosses said the new Highland location will resemble their O'Fallon showroom. They anticipate having a mattress department, a furniture outlet, and a showroom that is split up into lifestyle areas. They said they will also be able to provide all of their inventory items, as well as their custom order furniture. The Klosses estimate their new location will help to increase annual sales from $3.75 million to $7 million.

"We're hoping to have that open Nov. 1," Steve Kloss said.

In light of their investment, and the potential boost to Highland 's economy, the city entered into a redevelopment agreement with the business.

The property is located in the city's original business district, which was created about 10 years ago, therefore the business is eligible for a business district incentive, according to City Manager Latham, .

In total, the Klosses could be reimbursed up to 20 percent of their total project cost, which Latham says could be a total of $380,000.

At the moment, Latham said the business is eligible for about $247,375 in sales tax rebates if their sales do increase to $7 million. The incentive is currently based on reimbursing the business 75 percent of the 1 percent incremental sales tax for a period of 10 years.

However, Latham said if the company's sales do not increase, they will not receive any of the incentive.

"We've had several businesses that haven't made that increment," Latham said.

Latham said the city and the business owners are still negotiating some more incentives that could reimburse the company on its building permit costs, as well as adding some job incentives.

"We haven't finalized as of yet," Latham said.

The Klosses said they estimate the project will add 13 full-time jobs to their company. Though they are not sure of the final details, they said these jobs will be split up between delivery and warehouse workers, sales people, and office help.

After the council meeting, Steve Kloss also announced his intention of expanding into a third location.

"We're going to Edwardsville," he said.

The Klosses said that adding an Edwardsville location would help to complete the "perfect triangle" for their business. They also said that they are looking forward to filling an under-served market in the community.

"We love servicing this side of the river," Kloss said.