Hom Furniture is seeking approval to double the retail floor space surrounding its flagship Hom store on Interstate 494 in Bloomington, a project that potentially could move its Gabberts Design Studio out of the Galleria mall.
The company already has an agreement to purchase the adjacent Budget Truck Rental, which it would demolish so it can construct a two-story building plus a basement. Each floor would include retail and warehouse space, according to plans submitted to the city of Bloomington.
The plan requires approval from the city to rezone the area to allow retail use. Hom also needs approval to combine the three parcels into a single lot.
The proposal is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission on Thursday and to the City Council for approval on Sept. 10. City planners have recommended approval.
Hom’s founder and Chairman Wayne Johansen said Monday that it is too soon to discuss details of the project until it works its way through the city’s planning process.
If approved, the space could accommodate all three of the company’s brands — Hom, Gabberts and Dock86 — under a single roof. But Johansen said the company will await the green light from the city as it continues to assess the cost and viability of various expansion options.
The current Hom Furniture store is about 106,000 square feet. The proposed expansion would add about 209,000 square feet of retail space.
Potential Gabberts move
Hom Furniture, with headquarters in Coon Rapids, is acting as developer to build a new location on American Boulevard.
The multiyear effort would require demolition of the Budget Truck Rental building, a step that would not begin until early next year, Johansen said, with a two-year construction timeline.
Talk about Gabberts’ potential move to Bloomington first surfaced in late 2015 when Galleria owner Hines Global REIT began expansion plans. Johansen said at the time that he was committed to keeping the store in the area.
With the current plans, Johansen cautioned against speculating about what might or might not happen with the upscale Gabberts, which has been at the Galleria since 1959.
“Until the i’s are dotted, it’s just an idea,” Johansen said. “That area is one of the highest-traffic locations for the city and close to the current Gabberts store. We can move the main store there and not lose any traction.”