A new La-Z-Boy home furnishings store is planned in Rancho Mirage, along a stretch of Highway 111 that is becoming known as “furniture row.”
The new furniture and décor store, unanimously approved by the City Council on Thursday, will be built on a 2.32-acre of vacant site just north of Mor and Stanley furniture stores and will include a 17,462-square-foot building with 35 parking spaces.
The project developer is Milwaukee-based ICAP Development, with a variety of commercial developments across the country, including other hotels, Walgreens, Aldi and other La-Z-Boy stores.
The property is zoned for general commercial and includes neighbors some business office complexes as well as other furniture and interior design stores, including Ethan Allen to the north and Sleep Den and Dining & Stools Unlimited across Highway 111 to the east.
The store will be a maximum of 25 feet high with a flat roof and can be accessed off Highway 111 or from the west off of Rio del Sol Road.
Lighted signage will be on the building, said Pilar Lopez, assistant planner for the city.
“No monument signs are proposed at this time,” Lopez said.
Site improvements will include a sidewalk along Highway 111 and landscaping that uses a mix of desert plants, including various shrubs and trees which will help shade the site.
There will be a loading dock on the side of the building with delivery trucks entering off Highway 111 and exiting the property off of Rio del Sol, Lopez said.
An expansion of the building by 10,720 square feet at the rear of the building may be requested down the road, she said.
“The potential expansion would require additional parking spaces and would need to go through the (city’s) entitlement process,” Lopez said.
Thirty-five covered parking spaces are currently planned.
“Generally, new developments along Highway 111 require the construction of architecturally compatible carports,” Lopez said.
ICAP Development plans to create three “sail-shade” structures, tan in color and a maximum of 14 feet high – one in the front of the building along Highway 111 and two parking structures in the back of the building, she said.
‘Welcome back home’ to Rancho Mirage
Councilmember Richard Kite asked about the height and high volume of the trees planned for the front of the property, along Highway 111, whether they would block visibility of the store.
Forty-eight trees are planned to be planted – the minimum required for the project under municipal code, Director of Development Services Jeremy Gleim said.
“It looks a bit clustered here (on Highway 111) but they are required to provide a certain amount of trees that provide shade, and for this project in particular, the only location where that was viable area was the frontage,” Lopez said.
No one from the public spoke for or against the project.
Mayor Pro Tem Charlie Townsend said approval of the project brings La-Z-Boy back to Rancho Mirage.
The company had a store in the city many years ago, Townsend said, long before he was first elected to the City Council in 2016.
It was one of the first stores built in the small shopping center that is home to Honey Baked Ham and Consign Design.
La-Z-Boy was one of the original tenants of that center, at 71550 Highway 111, he said.
Townsend wasn’t sure but believes the store closed in the late 1980s, before he moved to Rancho Mirage and opened the Charles Townsend Collection in 1996 – a furniture store on Highway 111 where Ethan Allen is now located.
“This is a very deja vu moment for me because when I was at the L.A. Times many years back, I had the privilege of having to call on La-Z-Boy, and it was in Rancho Mirage at that time,” Townsend said.
“Just seeing them come full circle back home with this outstanding, beautiful building on now what is becoming our ‘furniture row’ in Rancho Mirage, I am deeply excited …,” Townsend said. “Welcome back home.”
Desert Sun reporter Sherry Barkas covers the cities of La Quinta, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert. She can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @TDSsherryBarkas.