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Building the Store, Part 7: Grogan Jewelers: The New Grogan’s Begins to Take Shape, in Spite of The Weather




Building the Store: The New Grogan’s Begins to Take Shape, in Spite of The Weather

BY EILEEN MCCLELLAND | Published in the March 2013 issue

PART 7 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.

In January, it rained for nearly a week in Florence, AL, which means hopes for speedy progress on the construction of Jay Klos’ new store had been rained out, at least temporarily. “The weather is always a surprise. Four and a half days of rain is tough,” he says.

By Feb. 1, the electrical, plumbing and HVAC teams were ready to begin work. The steel studs were going up on the steel frame. But then, another glitch cropped up, when Klos and company realized that the steel awnings had to be finished and in place before all of the exterior walls — steel sheeting, stone and Hardie Board — could be installed.


Still, Klos continues to shoot for an April completion date.


Along with the small setbacks there was a major victory in the revenue department. Klos signed a lease with a national yogurt chain for 1,500 square feet of the additional 4,000 square feet he is building to help pay for the construction. In addition, the moving sale at the existing downtown Florence store continued to generate cash.


Architect and interior designer R. Cherri Pitts says that having the steel frame up makes explaining what goes where and how it will look much easier than when the plans were all on paper. In effect, the store design has leaped off the page and into reality, impressing Klos with its scale.

“It’s huge. It’s big. It’s tall,” Klos says. “We wanted to make a statement on this corner and we’ll definitely be making a statement.”

“As architects and designers,” Pitts says, “We are so used to thinking three dimensionally, but sometimes when you go into construction, it’s like Christmas for the owner, and they just begin to understand the scale of the space for the first time,” she says. “Jay is really excited. Every time we meet the store comes more into focus.”


Pitts and Klos are collaborating on furniture selection, and one of the goals is to brighten up the office space. 


There’s been a lot of collaboration on detail work and finishing touches. 

“The exterior stone was picked a long time ago, but we have been playing with different colors for the rain screen and the window treatment, working on interior finish selections and starting to think a little more about paint colors,” Pitts says.

Klos says he has agonized over selecting case displays, since they represent a large chunk of the budget and can make or break the look of the store.

Pitts appreciates Klos’ enthusiasm for the project’s details, even though it occasionally makes her a little nervous. 

“Jay is always exploring. He never stops. I’ll think something is settled, but until we actually order it, Jay is probably still going to be shopping, for whatever it is. But so far his last-minute tinkering has always turned out well.”





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