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Building the Store, Part 10: Grogan Jewelers: Down to the Wire




Building the Store: Down to the Wire

BY EILEEN MCCLELLAND | Published in the June 2013 issue

PART 10 OF A SERIES that will cover the construction of the new Grogan Jewelers store in Florence, AL, from initial plans to a projected spring 2013 completion.

On May 3, Jay Klos and staff packed up what they needed from the downtown store, which had been there some 90-odd years — and headed out to their new destination store in a growth area of Florence, AL, near the site of a new regional grocery store.


Klos decided last year, after several expansions, that his Florence business had outgrown its downtown confines and that the store would be more successful elsewhere.

Just two weeks earlier, no one seemed to believe the new store would be ready to open on May 6. “People were looking at me like I was crazy,” Klos says. “Jewelry cases were just delivered last weekend. Everything was in disarray. They were just putting the flooring down a week ago. Painters, electricians, plumbers — the city — were all out there. I think we had 40-some-odd guys working on site at one time last week. But that’s the way it is.” When the project came down to the wire, it also meant Klos was on-site every day. “It’s so important to be out there if you know what you’re doing,” he says. “Otherwise, you have to hire a construction superintendent; you can’t just have a contractor and expect everything to get done.”


The fact that it rained a lot in April turned out to be lucky in one way. The deluge made it crystal clear the windows were leaking, and Klos was able to have new flashing installed before the opening.

Architect and interior designer R. Cherri Pitts, owner of Studio C Architecture & Interiors in Birmingham, AL, revisited the landscaping plan in April, filling in preliminary drawings with specific colors and layouts that complemented the architecture and added to the function of outdoor spaces.

Klos had conveyed Pitts’ preliminary plans to a landscaping company, but upon review, she disagreed with the landscaper’s interpretation, finding it too generic and commercial-looking. “It was another opportunity to take the design to the next level,” Pitts says. “It will help set it apart from the store’s big-box neighbors. We want it to blend in, but we also want it to be special.”


By April 29, a May 6 opening began to look more realistic, whether the landscaping was finished or the last curtain hung.


“The parking lot is done,” Klos says, “which makes a huge difference. The flooring is down, the cases are in; we’ll start cleaning cases on Wednesday and Thursday, and Saturday put everything in place.”

“Most projects I’ve done have turned out better than I anticipated and this is one of them,” says Klos, who estimates the project came within 10 percent of budget. “It’s very exciting right now.”



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