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.
Staff 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.
Pictures 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 since 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 he 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.