Updegraff Furniture to move into Cox Gift Shop building – The Herald Bulletin

ALEXANDRIA — The former Cox Gift Shop location has been sold to D.J. Updegraff and will be transformed into Updegraff Furniture and Mattress.

After operating four other furniture stores, mostly in Elwood, Updegraff said the former gift shop, 307 N. Harrison St., will reopen in late November. He already has moved some furnishings to be sold into the building, which has been vacant for about a year.

“We’ve got a pretty good customer base from Alex. The delivery boys already know the place pretty well,” Updegraff said, noting that he’s not sure how many people will be employed there, but he does hope to hire some Alexandria residents.

Living right outside the city limits himself, Updegraff said he started a conversation about a year ago with Mayor Ron Richardson about opening a new store in Alexandria. He was shown several properties around town before selecting the former gift shop because of the economic development taking place across the street at The Mercantile.

“I don’t think we can afford to do anything like that right away, but it gives us something to shoot for,” Updegraff said of the renovations at The Mercantile.

He and Richardson hope the new Horner’s Midtown Market at The Mercantile and Updegraff Furniture and Mattress will cross-pollinate one another, inducing one’s customers to visit the other business while they’re in the neighborhood.

“I think it’s a great fit when you talk about Verlin and you talk about D.J. They’re both hometown kind of guys,” Richardson said.

Verlin Horner is owner of Horner’s, which has placed several billboards around the city announcing its arrival, probably sometime in the winter.

Richardson said he’s excited about the overall transformation of the 300 block of North Harrison Street and hopes it will lead to other economic development in the city.

“One building at a time, I guess,” the mayor said.

Richardson hopes the rejuvenation of the city’s core also will help alleviate anxiety felt by some residents.

“What I really like is that we’ve lessened the chatter because a lot of people were afraid (businesses) were going to move onto the highway,” he said. “We’re going to give people more reason to come downtown.”


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