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Garrison’s to rebuild in Phoenix

courtesy photo A 32,500-square-foot outlet on Grove Way across from La-Z-Boy furniture will house both Garrison’s Home and Garrison’s Sleep with separate entrances.

Garrison’s furniture will return to Phoenix with a new building near Interstate 5 after losing its previous store on Highway 99 in the Almeda fire

A 32,500-square-foot outlet on Grove Way across from La-Z-Boy furniture will house both Garrison’s Home and Garrison’s Sleep with separate entrances. The company has already purchased two lots, designed the building and hired a builder.

“Just having done business in Phoenix, and then going through the Almeda fire with the residents, we really felt a connection,” said owner Brian Garrison. “The search (for a site) was predominantly in Phoenix.”

Garrison’s has applied to the city of Phoenix to build the structure. It will require a conditional use permit which must be approved by the city’s Planning Commission. A public hearing on the application will be held Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Garrison’s had previously leased 20,000 square feet of space in a larger building at 4149 S. Pacific Highway that was lost in the Almeda fire. The company attempted to buy the site but that didn’t materialize.

“We liked the location we had before. We couldn’t come to an agreement to purchase it,” said Garrison.

Attractive sites in south Medford were examined, but the firm really wanted to be in Phoenix and feels fortunate to have the location, said Garrison. After the fire Garrison’s matched donations up to $15,000 and was able to give $30,000 in assistance directly to fire victims who did not have insurance.

“Being next to La-Z-Boy, next to Home Depot, it makes sense. Obviously, there is a good rebuilding process going on in Phoenix and building going on in east Medford,” said Garrison. Land just north of the site along North Phoenix Road is planned for development, and a new freeway overpass at South Stage Road is under consideration.

The new store will be visible from Interstate 5 and convenient for customers who can use Exit 24. Garrison likes the idea of having locations on both the south and north ends of Medford. The other Home and Sleep center is located on Crater Lake Highway. The new building will be larger than that location.

The previous operation was known as Garrison’s Express and was a smaller store compared to other company locations. The concept was to give people the opportunity to buy something and take it home the same day they saw it in the store, said Garrison. The new location will offer the express concept in one area.

Tentatively Garrison hopes to have the new operation opened sometime in fall of 2022. KSW architects of Ashland has designed the building. Outlier Construction of Medford has been retained as the general contractor.

When it does open, the store will add 15 employees to the company. After the fire Garrison’s shifted employees to other locations and didn’t lay off anyone.

“Our philosophy is that the mattress shopping experience is much different than the furniture shopping experience,” said Garrison. “We get folks who know mattresses and others who known furniture to help guide our guests.”

Garrison’s also runs a warehouse outlet and clearance center next to its distribution site on Ehrman Circle in Medford. That operation had opened about four months before the Almeda fire.

In 2018 Clear Water Property, LLC gained approval from the city to construct a four-story, 84-room LaQuinta Inn on the site. The company had the land on Grove Road divided into three parcels, and Garrison’s has purchased the two nearest the freeway. Clear Water had planned to house a restaurant on the second parcel with the third parcel also to be developed. The plans never came to fruition.

“We are really happy about it. When I heard about it, we kind of did a couple of high-fives,” said Phoenix Mayor Terry Baker. “They must see something they really like here in town. It’s wonderful for the local economy and for the community.”

Both rebuilding businesses and newcomers are showing more interest in locating in Phoenix, with some of the efforts going through the Phoenix Urban Renewal Agency, Baker said. While the city had initially focused predominantly on bringing residents back after the fire, it is now increasing efforts to reestablish and recruit businesses.

“When someone like Brian Garrison wants to set up shop in town … it’s a big harbinger for businesses that want to come to the area,” said Baker. “It says there are substantial, well run businesses that want to set up in Phoenix.”

Reach Ashland freelance writer Tony Boom at tboomwriter@gmail.com.