Flooring Surfaces plans to open a factory outlet store in Savoy early next year, company President Kevin Applebee said.
The company, which sells carpet, ceramic tile, luxury vinyl tile and hardwood floors, will continue to operate from its location at 401 E. Mercury Drive in Champaign's Apollo industrial park.
But the new 8,000-square-foot store — to be built just north of the former Busey Bank building in Savoy — will sell close-outs and overstocks to the public.
"A lot of do-it-yourself products will be sold — in-stock merchandise they can take with them," Applebee said.
The new store is expected to open sometime in the first quarter of 2014, he said.
"We've been looking to try to find a location on the south side of town for several years," Applebee said, adding the new store will likely employ six to eight people.
The factory outlet store will have a price structure that Applebee said should be "more competitive."
"Since we're a distributor, we have buying power and are able to compete with the home centers," he said.
The factory outlet store will offer installation services only on carpet, but can help customers arrange for installation of other surfaces, Applebee said.
The Mercury Drive location will continue to provide installation service for all surfaces.
Flooring Surfaces got its start in Missouri in 1994 and moved into the Champaign area in 1995. It was initially at 706 W. Bradley Ave., C, and relocated to the Mercury Drive building in 1999.
"Nothing will change with that location," Applebee said, noting that Flooring Surfaces has been selling direct to the public since 2004.
Bank on the way?
Speaking of the former Busey Bank building in Savoy, Iroquois Federal Savings & Loan has given public notice that it intends to open a branch office there.
Iroquois Federal already has offices in Danville, Hoopeston, Watseka and Clifton, as well as a loan production office in Osage Beach, Mo.
Walter "Chip" Hasselbring III, the chief operating officer for Iroquois Federal, said the savings and loan has been looking to expand its footprint and already has customers in the area.
He called the location at 108 Arbours Drive, Savoy, "a good spot," adding "there's a lot of growth in the area."
Hasselbring said Friday that although Iroquois Federal has made an offer on the property, the deal has not yet closed. He said he hopes to provide more details on the proposed full-service branch in weeks to come.
Birkey's going up
Birkey's new dealership on High Cross Road in Urbana is expected to be open for business by March 1, 2014, said Jeff Hedge, vice president of the Champaign-based farm equipment and construction equipment company.
The 63,000-square-foot facility at 2202 S. High Cross Road will include a sales office, showroom, parts center and parts storage in its front section and a service center behind that.
The facility will replace Birkey's current store on 1801 E. University Ave., U. The new store is expected to employ 45 to 50.
Birkey's handles both Case-IH agricultural equipment and Case construction equipment. It has 12 ag stores in Illinois and Indiana, as well as four construction equipment stores.
The company is in the process of adding a new shop to its facility in Galesburg, Hedge added.
No waxing, please
Want a fast, easy way to wash your pet?
Le Wash — a self-service car wash at 1902 W. Bradley Ave., C — is preparing to offer a scaled-down version for pets.
The All Paws Pet Wash, located on the west side of the car wash, was not in operation late last week, pending inspections.
But when it opens, it will give pet owners an array of options to select.
The pet wash costs $5 for 10 minutes, during which customers can choose a variety of services. They can start with a rinse option, then choose either oat shampoo or tearless shampoo, then conditioner and a deodorizing cycle. They can also use a vacuum to remove excess water and hair and conclude with a blow dry.
To give the bath, customers step into an enclosed chamber, place the pet in a tublike tray and push buttons for the desired cycle.
Le Wash was formerly a Super Wash, but ownership of the facility changed late last year, with the new name adopted this year.
Landscaper suggests garden
Sarah Hall, the owner of Sarah's Landscaping, has been talking with the city of Champaign about the possibility of designing a community garden.
A possible site would be city-owned property on the south side of East Bradley Avenue, just west of the Canadian National railroad tracks.
Hall said the garden — which her firm would maintain — could bring beauty as well as fresh produce to area residents.
She said she envisions the garden including herbs, vegetables and possibly fruit. She would also like it to include "edible landscaping" and perhaps "permeable pathways" to conserve water.
Hall started her landscaping business at home in 2008 and moved the business last winter to 1710 W. Hensley Road, C.
The firm, which provides residential and commercial landscape design, installation and maintenance, employs eight part-time workers.
Hall said the business has also done a good bit of "personal gardening," in which homeowners arrange with her to maintain their gardens.
The phone number for Sarah's Landscaping is 356-2044, and the website is http://www.sarahslandscaping.com.
Contact Don Dodson at 351-5227 or 800-252-3346; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.