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Sarasota-Manatee
Business Observer Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 4 years ago

Matter Brothers Furniture entering Sarasota

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The Fort Myers-based retailer bought a manufacturing plant to create one of the largest furniture stores in the state.

SARASOTA — Fort Myers-based Matter Brothers Furniture purchased a former Dana Corp. hydraulics manufacturing facility in Sarasota for $4.1 million. The 107,033-square-foot industrial building is located at 4675 Clark Road, Sarasota.

The price equated to $38 per square foot. That figure is less than the two-year average price per square foot for industrial space ($46) in the Tampa Bay area, according to the CoStar Group.

Matter Brothers Furniture plans to convert the interior and exterior of the building into a 100,000-square-foot furniture showroom over the next seven months. The renovations are budgeted at $4 million. Bandes Construction Co. Inc. of Dunedin is the general contractor for the property renovations.

“We've been trying since 1977 — when my mother and father moved to Florida — to open a store in Sarasota,” says John Matter, president of Matter Brothers Furniture. “They couldn't locate the right property, so they started the business in Fort Myers. So this is big thing for the family to finally accomplish that.”

At completion, which is currently projected for October or November, the store will be the furniture retailer's largest location. Matter Brothers Furniture stores range in size from 30,000 to 50,000 square feet. The new store will employ 40 people.

Jon Kleiber and Terry Eastman of Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT handled the transaction.

John Matter attributes the find to Kleiber, who located it for the company. Initially it was under contract to another potential buyer, but that deal fell through. Kleiber says the building had ceiling height and support column issues that made it less attractive to manufactures.

“We were actually working on another property on U.S. 41, but we preferred this location and the size of this building,” John Matter says. “It has a lot of potentially as an empty shell. Since we have stores in Fort Myers and Naples and Pinellas Park and Tarpons Springs, we felt this was a natural location to fill in that gap. We believe this will be one of the largest furniture stores in the entire state.”

Along with a larger selection or products than is found at other Matter Furniture locations, the new store will also house one-of-kind or one-off products from furniture manufactures.

John Matter is scheduled to move to Sarasota in September to operate the local store. To read more about the company's strategy in a Business Observer article, click here.

The purchase entity, Matter Brothers Real Estate LC, mortgaged the property to SunTrust Bank for $5.34 million.

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