4 Fast Facts
- RoomPlace to set up shop at old Levitz Furniture building on East Washington Street
- Mayor Joe Hogsett says it's part of a revitalization effort on the east side
- RoomPlace expects to bring 100 jobs to the area
- Hogsett said east side neighborhoods have been overlooked too often
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Furniture chain RoomPlace announced plans Monday to acquire a large warehouse on the east side that’s been vacant for years.
RoomPlace will set up shop at the former Levitz Furniture building at 8301 E. Washington St. and use it as a warehouse and showroom. The company will move the corporate headquarters of its rent-to-own retail division, EasyHome, to the location. The building is set to open in fall of this year and is expected to bring more than 100 new jobs to the area.
The building once housed Levitz Furniture, but the warehouse closed in 1999 after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The facility has remained empty ever since.
During an announcement Monday, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the city wanted to revitalize the U.S. 40/East Washington Street corridor and make sure it "never falls into disrepair again." Hogsett referred said the area was underserved and needed a boost.
"We are celebrating a jewel, prospective jewel, in the rough, because this side of town, frankly, has for too long been overlooked, dare I say, even ignored," Hogsett said.
Hogsett believes the RoomPlace expansion will benefit neighboring businesses and neighborhoods. He also believes the area has historical value that must be preserved.
"Think about it. Washington Street is U.S. 40. It is the National Road, one of America's most influential highways. It was a road that connected the east to the west. For more than 200 years, this road connected America. The road is older not only than Indianapolis, it is older than Indiana itself."
He said the city has for "too long" has allowed the area to be "neglected, abused and overlooked."
"I'm committed, this city is committed, to restoring the National Road that stretched from Cumberland to the east, all the way to Bridgeport," Hogsett said. "I am committed to making sure this road, this national treasure, never falls into disrepair again."
Hogsett said the city supported RoomPlace's plan for the old warehouse and would provide incentives. He did not go into specifics regarding the incentives, saying the details still needed to be worked out.
RoomPlace CEO Paul Adams said the company was looking to expand and also considered adding a location in Ohio.
"We've built a business large enough that we really needed to find a distribution center so we could add more value to the Indianapolis area. This building fit that," Adams said. "The other side to what we wanted to accomplish was that we wanted to find where we started in Chicago, which was a downtown neighborhood that needed a little more support."
He said the east side Indianapolis location "stays within our DNA" and believes the extra jobs will help the area grow. In addition, Adams said the RoomPlace location will create competition that will drive more customers and traffic to the area.
Adams said he believes the location will be ready in less than a year and will become "an amazing place."
RoomPlace has 24 stores in Indianapolis and Illinois, including locations in Carmel, Castleton, Greenwood, Indianapolis, Merrillville and Plainfield.