By Carly Snyder
Grand Home Furnishings will close its downtown Lexington location Nov. 5, leaving local officials wondering what is next for the landmark building that has anchored the corner of South Main and West Washington Streets since 1959.
Grand Home Furnishings “has been part of the fabric on Main Street all of my life,” said Lexington’s Mayor Frank Friedman. “As a child I remember going shopping there, getting a Coca-Cola, and checking out the sofas. It’s sad to see that piece leaving Main Street Lexington.”
A spokesperson from Grand Home Furnishings said the company is developing another location, but he did not provide further details. The City of Lexington will continue to receive real estate tax on the property, which is owned by Grand, while it is vacant.
According to Lexington’s commissioner of revenue office, the property will generate around $14,000 in real estate tax throughout the fiscal year, which ends on June 30.
Friedman said the closing of the store does mean a temporary loss of revenue generated by sales tax.
“Grand has had a successful business, and the sales tax is certainly a piece we’ll miss, and we’ll have to prepare from a budget standpoint,” Friedman said.
But Lexington City Manager Jim Halasz is confident a new business will fill Grand’s location quickly and replenish the loss of sales tax revenue.
“Fortunately, Lexington’s downtown is very strong,” said Halasz. “Whenever we have a business or building become available, almost immediately there is someone who wants to buy the building or lease the building.”
For instance, Cocoa Mill Chocolate Company relocated to the College Square Shopping Center next to the YMCA in pursuit of more space. Its former location on West Nelson Street is now occupied by Lex Bowls, a fruit smoothie and acai shop.
The spokesperson from Grand said the company did not leave because of concerns about space, but rather the opportunity to sell the building.
Halasz and Friedman said they are not aware of any potential buyers or tenants.
Halasz said a new owner could improve the façade of Grand’s current location to better match the older style and architecture of other buildings in downtown Lexington.
Friedman said the building’s “next generation is only limited by imagination and money.”