Refurbiture, a remanufacturer of office furniture, will move from its current facility, at 500 Bittner St., and will occupy the first floor, while Warehouse of Fixtures will use the second floor of the Natural Bridge building as extra storage space. The total project cost is $710,000.
“One of our largest competitors — RBF Office Interiors — went out of business,” Singer said. “So we have 50 trailer loads of used furniture sitting on lots waiting to be unloaded.” Warehouse of Fixtures, a seller of new and pre-owned office furniture, is located at 2720 Market St. Singer said after recording sales of $6.2 million last year, Warehouse of Fixtures is eyeing revenue of $10 million this year. It has 35 employees. Some of the company’s local clients include Washington University, Saint Louis University and SSM Health.
Warehouse of Fixtures’ showroom will continue to be located in the Market building, and the extra storage space will allow it to open its meeting rooms for clients. “If one of our clients needs a meeting space in the city, they can use our state-of-the-art facilities,” Singer said, including a 30-person training room, 14-person conference room and eight-person “huddle room.”
Richie also cited RBF’s closure in Refurbiture’s growth. “We’ve also been more aggressive about picking up a national footprint,” he said, adding that 2016 revenue totaled nearly $3 million, and revenue this year could be about $4 million. Refurbiture has 32 employees.
Richie said the Natural Bridge building’s open floor plan would give Refurbiture “a lot more freedom to set up large, more high-capacity manufacturing lines.”
“We bring in mostly cubicle furniture, strip it and recycle the cores, then put new finish materials on them,” he said, adding that the new building would lead to increased efficiencies.
Financing for the project will come from Enterprise Bank ($426,000), the owners ($71,000) and a Community Development Block Grant loan from the St. Louis Development Company ($213,000). That loan will have an interest rate of 4 percent and term of five years, amortized over 20 years.
“The city was instrumental in putting the deal together,” Singer said. “The way the ownership worked, we couldn’t get” a U.S. Small Business Administration loan, “so this made the bank loan a little smaller and guaranteed the rate on the loan was a little more attractive.”
As part of the agreement with the city, Refurbiture and Warehouse of Fixtures have agreed to add a total of nine full-time equivalent jobs at the new facility.
Warehouse of Fixtures could use the space as early as late May or early June, with Refurbiture moving by mid-July.