Thursday, December 22, 2005

DMG World Media Aquires SOFA New York

The ninth annual International Exposition of Sculpture Objects & Functional Art: SOFA NEW YORK 2006 will run under new owners. The arts exposition was recently required by DMG World Media, an international exhibition and publishing company based in London.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

High-end furniture is solution for success

Oggi Modern Furnishings in Kansas City doesn’t just sell furniture.

“We sell environments and solutions in the form of furnishings,” said Guy Merola, who with his wife Kathy owns the downtown Kansas City business in the huge brick building at 600 Central St.

Oggi offers contemporary, stylish furniture as well as accessories such as carpets and rugs, wallpaper, dinnerware, glassware, stemware and related items. Among the lines you can find there are some by well-known designer Todd Oldham.

While many consumers might flock to mega furniture stores to outfit their homes, Merola said those who buy from him are looking for uncommon unique furnishings.

About half of his customers are urban dwellers, Merola said and almost an equal number are suburban folks who live in neighborhoods where some form of exterior conformity is required. That means the interior of their homes is where they make their statement or where their personalities and character can stand out.

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China lures overseas furniture producers

INTERNATIONAL furniture makers are heading into China as the country moves to become the world's largest furniture production base and sales market.

Among them, Ashley, the world's second-largest furniture manufacturer, opened its doors recently in Shanghai — the company's first outlet in the Chinese market.

Featuring mass-produced, medium priced goods, the US-based furniture maker said it is set to compete with local companies by targeting the city's middle-class and upscale consumers.

"Compared with European furniture producers, Ashley's prices are lower as much of its furniture is mass-produced in China," said Chen Haibo, deputy general manager of Shanghai Expocasa Furniture Co Ltd, which is Ashley's dealer on China's Mainland.

The dealer used to sell only European furniture that was double the price of Ashley's products.

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St Louis: Bruce sets new tone for Beaumont Telephone Building

Bruce Development Co. purchased the Beaumont Telephone Exchange and plans to turn the 103-year-old-building into rental lofts.

The six-story brick building at 2654 Locust is just west of Jefferson Avenue. Preliminary plans call for the rehabilitation of the building into 75 market-rate and affordable rental lofts with ground-floor office space. It will have a mix of studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms with rents ranging between $600 and $900 and units ranging between 500 and 900 square feet. The cost of development is estimated to be $10 million.

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St Louis 4-unit Benton Park townhouse development for sale

The site of a former parking lot in the Benton Park neighborhood is now the location for four townhouses made up to look like a firehouse.

The development firm Derrick, Inc. is putting the finishing touches on the Lemp Firehouse Loft Townhomes at Lemp Avenue and Lynch Street.

The 2,000-square-foot, three-story, loft-style attached townhouses are selling for $349,000 to $389,000, said Derrick Thomas of Derrick, Inc. Each unit has an attached garage underneath, three bedrooms and 2-1/2 baths.

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West Elm moving in

Center City gets yet another new furniture- shopping option with this week's opening of the West Elm store on Chestnut Street. The 19,000-square-foot store takes over the entire first floor of the long-vacant former home of Woolworth's.

Known for its budget-priced modern pieces, West Elm was launched as a catalog venture in 2002 by Williams-Sonoma Inc., which also owns Pottery Barn. A push to build retail locations began last year, and with that new direction came a new look for the West Elm brand - whose dark, blocky furniture and limited color palette once seemed aimed at just-out-of-college types furnishing their first lofts.
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