MONROE, May 12, 2013 (AP): La-Z-Boy Inc. has announced plans to start work in June on a new $57 million world headquarters in Monroe.
The Monroe-based company will get Michigan and local tax incentives totaling about $13 million for the environmentally friendly building, according to The Monroe Evening News ( http://bit.ly/172UYI9 ). It is being built on 120 acres formerly held by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The complex will replace the company's 85-year-old headquarters. The company had contemplated renovating that property but it just was not feasible, said Kurt L. Darrow, La-Z-Boy chairman, president and chief executive officer. The company also considered relocating to Toledo riverfront because some of its nearly 500 employees live in Ohio.
``We ended up finding what I think is the gem of Monroe in the property we were able to negotiate with the sisters right here in town,'' Darrow said. ``It's been a great community effort by everyone involved. It's great to see everybody pulling in the same direction.''
He said the present headquarters would be put up for sale.
``We're going to listen to offers,'' he said, ``and we'll make sure whoever ends up with it will be a credit to our community.''
The company plans to divide the assets of the La-Z-Boy corporate museum between The Henry Ford and the Monroe County Historical Museum, with some items on display at the new headquarters lobby, Darrow said.
``More people will have access to it than ever before,'' he said.
Darrow also said La-Z-Boy's turnaround from the recent economic downturn was so dramatic that the Harvard Business School will teach a course on it.
Tracy Oberleiter, a Monroe Bank & Trust senior vice president, said the project's economic impact would be significant. The $57 million investment would be similar to building 300 new homes, he said.
``This is a big deal,'' he said.
Information from: The Monroe Evening News, http://www.monroenews.com