DeKALB — DeKalb will have a furniture store again when Finest Furniture Ashley HomeStore opens by Dec. 9.
Store manager Sam Sharawi said the new store will open in the Parkview Business Center at 1500 Sycamore Road, which is north of Jewel-Osco. DeKalb has been without a retail furniture store since Small's Furniture City closed in July 2012. Leath Furniture closed in May 2007.
"We had a customer from DeKalb, and when we delivered there, we learned there was no furniture store in DeKalb," Sharawi said. "We thought we had a good chance of being successful there."
Sharawi, who also manages a Finest Furniture in Joliet, will be in DeKalb on Tuesday to start preparing the new location.
"The store is being completely redecorated inside to display a full line of furniture, including living room, dining room and bedroom furniture, and other furnishing accessories," Sharawi said. "We sell Ashley Furniture and customers can except the quality and upscale style that they have come to expect from Ashley Furniture."
The new store will help the local economy by creating jobs and gathering sales tax, including some sales tax from out-of-town customers, DeKalb Mayor John Rey said. Local economic development leaders had been working to bring a furniture store to town.
"We believe we're losing between $5 million and $10 million a year in furniture sales, specifically," said Roger Hopkins, DeKalb's economic development consultant. "Many of the furniture stores want to be in locations that have 40,000 square feet or more. We were really fortunate to find someone wanting a smaller floor plan," Hopkins said.
Hopkins said negotiations with Finest Furniture began in September, and the owners wanted to find a location to occupy before Christmas. Property owner Jim Mason said he gave the business the 8,500-square-foot retail space rent-free for three months.
"They looked at smaller locations and one of the new buildings under construction on Sycamore Road," Hopkins said. "But the space and rent didn't quite match, and it did at Parkview."