Lots of businesses would jump to have prime retail space on Old Woodward Avenue in the heart of downtown Birmingham. Arkitektura jumped at the chance to leave it.
The artistic furniture store moved about a mile east on Maple Road to Birmingham’s Rail District. Like a number of other businesses in recent years, it took over space in a former industrial warehouse in the emerging neighborhood.
“We moved to this area because this is an up-and-coming area,” says Lisa Poleni, a spokeswoman for Arkitektura. “This is the SoHo of Birmingham.”
The 5,500-square-foot store is celebrating its 25th anniversary in a much bigger spot. For the same rent, its Rail District home at 2131 Cole St. is nearly three times larger than its former downtown space.
The Rail District is an old industrial area on the border of Troy with a rail line running through it. Businesses and new residents have been converting the buildings into homes and places for retailers and restaurants. Birmingham and Troy plan to build a transit station there for a planned northern extension of the Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail line.
Source: Lisa Poleni, a spokeswoman for Arkitektura
Writer: Jon Zemke