Highland News Leader

Highland officials hope for more storefront investment after new Kloss store opens

Take a look inside the new Kloss Furniture in downtown Highland

Kloss Furniture opened in Highland last weekend
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Kloss Furniture opened in Highland last weekend

With Highland’s new Kloss Furniture store, located on Broadway, up and running, city officials hope area businesses might follow suit by reinvesting in their storefronts.

The Highland natives and owners of the furniture store did a complete overhaul on the building that formerly served as a Schuette’s Market. Both the inside and outside of the store have been completely redone.

City Manager Mark Latham said the overhaul to the old market is the type of update to a storefront the city likes to see. That’s especially true for business on Broadway, he said, where a project aimed to beautify the street due to begin in the next few years.

Kloss Highland Ribbon Cutting
The Kloss family celebrates at the ribbon cutting of the newest Kloss Furniture store located in the heart of downtown Highland. The store, which was rehabbed after serving as a Schuette’s Market for 20 years, opened Nov. 2. Kavahn Mansouri kmansouri@bnd.com

Latham said while the stores on Broadway already have a good look, any sort of reinvestment will help the city.

“There are a couple of areas we’d like to see some activity in, but that’s really up to them (business owners),” Latham said. “Hopefully, if the economy continues to grow and they can reinvest in their properties.”

In September, the city hired engineers to begin planning what a visual overhaul to Broadway will look like. Broadway serves as a main artery in Highland and is home to many businesses like the new Kloss Furniture store.

The Broadway project will see a section of the street between Poplar and Lauren streets receive new sidewalks and curbing to make the area compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, new landscaping, new antique-styled wayfarer signage and light posts around the city’s square.

“I’m hoping with the investment that we’re going to make on Broadway with new lighting and new sidewalks and curbs that people will take a look at trying to invest in their storefronts,” Latham said. “That could make it a really nice drive through.”

Latham said the Kloss Family filling the old supermarket was a windfall for both parties. He said it would have been hard to fill the space and that vacant buildings can lead to a decline in taxes for the entire city and would have worked against the plan to beautify the street.

He added that getting families like the Klosses to stay and operate out of Highland also is a big win for the city and made the move a win-win situation. He said the city has that in its favor, that many families who open businesses often stay in the area.

“Anytime we can get one of our local people, like Steve Kloss and his family, to stay here we’re pretty fortunate,” Latham said. “There are generations of families that have made highland a place their running their businesses from.”

As for the Broadway project, the project’s first half is estimated to cost about $1.8 million. In May, $1.4 million was awarded to the city by the Federal Enhancement Program to help fund the project. Those funds must be used in 2019.

Once this project is complete, Latham said the city will apply for more funds to improve past Laurel Street.

Kavahn Mansouri: 618-239-2507, @KavahnMansouri