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April 12, 2012

Home Design Studio goes dark

While it has been for sale for a while, it looks like the once-red-hot Home DesgnStudio showroom building along West Circle Drive in Northwest Rochester is now completely cold and dark.

04112012homedesignstudio1Staff of the Studio plus Home Improvement Professionals and the Olmsted County Lumber Mart moved out on Friday and shifted their offices to the remaining space they have in Byron.

I'll have more details soon, but this move has gotten me remembering the golden days in the fall of 2006 when this massive, multi-level 32,000-square-foot showroom opened its doors and flipped on the hundreds of fancy light fixtures made the complex glow like a spaceship at night.

Homedesign studio August 15Pictures from Business After Hours and Builders events held there in 2006 and in 2007 during that time show a big shiny place bustling with smiling people. Most of the folks I can indentify have long Homedesignicesince made forced career changes, lost jobs, had businesses go under and have faced a variety of other difficulties.

That was also the same time that Rochester Market Square, another home construction mall, also opened on t Homedesignstudio2in2006he south side of the Med City. That has since retracted quite a bit and its developers finally sold it to an out-of-state corporation.

It is quite simply a bygone era.
I realize how much better Rochester has fared than most during these turbulent times. However, it is my impression that most of the survivors from those days have a lot more scars today than they had then.

Moving beyond maudlin memories, I am wondering what kind of business might buy this cavernous place and what could it be used for. It is fantastic rambling showroom.

But not many businesses go that big anymore. Maybe a furniture store or an Aquarius-style dance club?

We'll see, I guess.


I'm not surprised that it's closed but am surprised that it lasted longer than Rochester Market Square. Both those places were a joke.

Jill - Rochester Market Square is still open.

I think it is unfair to insult them. I believe both have reasonable reputations and made a good effort.

The business concept of the home construction "mall" was a very solid one in 2005-2006.

They were not aimed at low cost stuff for individuals.

At that time, houses were springing up like crazy. People would set up contract with a builder and the builder would give buyers an "allowance" and allow them to pick out lighting, flooring and whatnot within that amount.

That's what both of these places were designed for.

Obviously, the evaporation of the housing market has made that a vague memory of the past.

It was a good thought at the moment in 2005-2006 but did you ever try to purchase anything from either of them? I built a new house and gave them both a chance and was completely shocked at the service and price. The only thing left at RMS is Sherwin Williams and I'm sure they'll be gone once their lease is up.

Jill, Good news! I hear you can get your level of quality products at the price you are used to paying at the local big boxes. It is easy to criticize individuals that stick their necks out and try to make this town a better place. Ever had to make payroll? Without them we would have a very plain city. Just the way you like it? I would like to thank the business owners of these businesses for investing in our community. I wish them success in their businesses in their new locations.

I think Rochester Market Square also got screwed over by the 63/52 interchange remake. While not difficult to get to, I think unless you were familiar with that area prior to the rebuild, people just didn't know how to get back there.

I was in here on several occasions. Each time I was in there, I wandered around for 30+ minutes without a single employee asking if any help was needed at all. The service was poor, and the prices were not competitive.

Looks like only Sherwin-Williams Paint store is left at Market Square

we too built a new house and alot of the stuff came from there-it was nice to go to one place and pick out paint, cabnits, carpet, siding ect...
went back a few times-hard to find associates around and the price was probably higher but we had new house allowances. im sure someting will go in there.

@ Realist - we actually used all locally owned companies for our new house - siding, windows, roofing, flooring, cabinets, etc. I never said anything about supporting the big box companies so not sure why you assumed I did. I just said that when I was in both places, the service was terrible and the pricing was outrageous. I felt that the quality wouldn't have been much better. And guess what else - I actually do make payroll as I am a partner in a small business in Rochester. Anything else you would like to know?

It's like watching a supernova when it comes to the demise of these huge places, leaving behind smaller, more modest businesses in their wake, like that Antiquity Furniture store near Mackies. That place has way more charm and personality than Home Design Studio ever did, in a fraction of the square footage.

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