It’s been more than a year, but two local businesses – accompanied by a new one – have moved home.
Sacwal Flooring and Ideal Decorating, along with the Lighting & Accent Gallery, suffered a devastating fire on Jan. 15, 2017, which caused more than $2 million in damages at the St. Clair Street location.
Ultimately, the building had to be torn down and a new building constructed on the same site.
“Out of the ashes, we rise again,” Al Birkby, owner of Ideal said at a press conference recently showcasing the new stores.
When the original building burned, the storeowners hurried to find a temporary home, settling further south on St. Clair Street in the Nortown Plaza. But now, $3 million later, two of the businesses returned to their old location. Jim and Sandy Kelly, owners of the Lighting & Accent Gallery, opted to retire.
In their place will be The Lighting Shoppe.
Moving back to the 703 St. Clair St. address with new, larger facilities, feels familiar, noted Alanna Aarssen, president of Sacwal and The Lighting Shoppe.
“It’s emotionally exciting. We’re back to our roots,” she said.
Harry Verhey, owner of the building that houses the three businesses and a Sacwal partner, said the fire left everyone in shock.
“We all stood here Jan. 15 (2017), and all that was left was ashes. You didn’t have e-mail because your server is melted; you didn’t know what to do,” he said.
They figured it out, finding their temporary location and planning the rebuild.
Aarssen said the new building includes 30,000 square feet of retail showroom and warehouse space. The building sports a state-of-the-art sprinkler system and will feature a smart car charging station in the near future.
Parking has doubled at the location as well.
Aarssen thanked local residents for supporting the impacted businesses in the past, especially over the last year.
“We welcome all our past and new customers to our new and improved showroom, design centre and warehouse,” she said.